Sun and Noblestar Bring Proven Wireless Solutions to Market

by Jeffrey Meltzer

Sun Microsystems a leading provider of hardware, software and services that power the Internet, and Noblestar, the company that elegantly engineers successful digital businesses, today announced a strategic relationship to deliver customizable wireless solutions to the growing population of corporate customers demanding quickly deployable, proven wireless solutions.

Sun Microsystems, Inc., (Nasdaq: SUNW) a leading provider of hardware, software and services that power the Internet, and Noblestar, the company that elegantly engineers successful digital businesses, today announced a strategic relationship to deliver customizable wireless solutions to the growing population of corporate customers demanding quickly deployable, proven wireless solutions. Jointly developed and deployed wireless solution sets will enable businesses today to take advantage of wireless solutions for next-generation consumer and employee applications.

Today's announcement includes the implementation of three wireless solutions that derive from the collective work with three customers -- Posten Brev, Sonera zed and Autodesk. These solution sets feature effective, reliable and predictable solutions that are essential in industries where time-to-market means everything. The solution sets have been designed to be flexible enough to meet a wide variety of customer needs and allow for customization to occur. Currently Sun and Noblestar are pursuing over a dozen joint prospects in the wireless arena, as well as continuing to collaborate on building next-generation wireless solutions. Customers can verify the capabilities and performance of the proposed wireless solutions at Noblestar's Wireless Accelerator Labs located in Reston, Virginia and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

''Sun's strategy for delivering end-to-end wireless solution sets remains consistent -- team with partners to offer the strongest business solutions possible, while providing customers with the most robust technology available,'' said, Darlene Yaplee, vice president, Global Solution Integrators, Sun Microsystems, Inc. ''These solution sets are designed to provide customers with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their solution has proven successful and that leads to business efficiency and profitability which are essential in today's business climate.''

This alliance announcement comes at a time when businesses and consumers are increasing their adoption of wireless devices. In fact, according to a recent statement by Forrester Research, ''As employees, individuals will begin to rely on their personal PDAs, cell phones, and digital cameras to become more productive at work and improve business operations. The information utility will also help executives hone their research skills to access data critical to their business success, or to accelerate career ambitions using online training programs.''

''Sun and its partners are working together to create and deploy solutions that unite the enterprise, the internet, and telecommunications and in turn provide the custom, glass-breaking solutions our customers have come to expect from Sun,'' said Ann Wettersten, vice president, Wireless Business Group, Sun Microsystems. ''Wireless implementations add new complexities like location, personalization, and cultural comfort, so it's crucial for us to have partners like Noblestar with global reach and local expertise.''

''While many businesses are still grappling with how to leverage wireless innovations to reach customers, generate revenue and ensure increased operating efficiencies, a number of pioneering companies have already developed and deployed successful wireless strategies,'' said Paul Opalack, CEO and founder of Noblestar. ''Noblestar has allied with pioneering companies in the U.S. and Europe to successfully deliver more than 40 mobile and wireless business applications. This experience provides the foundation for our work with Sun to develop and deliver proven, reliable and scalable wireless business solutions in rapid timeframes.''

There are three key solution sets with proven customer examples within the Sun and Noblestar relationship. Sun and Noblestar have worked together to provide solution sets based on the successfully deployed solutions implemented and tested with Posten Brev, Sonera zed and Autodesk. These wireless sets are available for customers to take advantage of and customize to meet each of their individual needs.

Mobile Integrated Order and Payment Systems

This solution set provides the foundation for any mobile ordering application that also requires payment for goods and services and is based on Sun and Noblestar's work with Posten Brev. Sun and Noblestar provide a complete end-to-end ordering system that integrates corporate back office applications with the Point of Sale (POS) storefront systems required to execute a payment transaction. This solution can be integrated and deployed to organizations in multiple markets including pickup and delivery services, quick service venues, retail storefronts and stadiums and arenas.

Recently, Posten Brev, the state-owned Swedish postal service, turned to Noblestar and Sun for strategic planning, expert advice and support when planning a nationwide, mobile payment system using the GSM network. The result is a more convenient system that provides customers with greater control over where and when to receive their package, a variety of payment options and access to information regarding their package. With better management over pick-up and deliveries, Posten Brev is able to compete more aggressively in the marketplace.

Wireless Solution Enterprise Workgroups

This wireless solution set serves any organization, large or small, that organizes into workgroups to accomplish specific tasks and can leverage wireless solutions to support specific processes. The collective work that was recently implemented for Sonera zed's wireless solution serves as the basis for this enterprise workgroup solution. The workgroup can be as substantial and diverse as the sales force for an international corporation, or as small and focused as the senior executive team that leads a business.

For Sonera zed (zed), Noblestar used Sun's technologies to create one of the first large-scale wireless applications developed in the U.S. Through this strategic engagement, zed will launch an innovative wireless community in both the U.S. and Europe, allowing consumers to interact via WAP-enabled digital phones and handheld devices. This wireless community is accessible through zed's wireless portal, available on WAP-enabled phones, and allows consumers to create personalized, interactive communities based on common interests, and communicate via message forums, interactive chats and event calendars.

Sonera zed U.S., Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Finnish telecommunications group Sonera Corporation, is the world's leading provider of personalized wireless entertainment and community-based information services that allow customers to satisfy spontaneous needs via mobile phones.

''Noblestar, using Sun's technologies, is developing our community solution that provides wireless data services such as instant messaging, thread discussions, a group calendar, and quick access to related wireless sites,'' said Paul Hughes, COO for Sonera zed U.S. ''This solution can be extended to allow workgroups to efficiently and effectively collaborate with one another, regardless of where they are located. Optimum productivity of all members of the workgroup could be maintained because of the unique capabilities available through this platform.''

Noblestar's wireless solution is built upon Sun's Solaris(TM) Operating Environment and is based on the Java(TM) 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE(TM)).

Field Force Automation

This solution set offers solutions to any organization with a mobile workforce, sales executives and corporate managers who require alert notification for late-breaking product, sales and inventory information to better serve clients, or with employees who frequently travel and need services to eliminate travel headaches, change reservations and receive driving directions. The field force automation solution set is based on the successfully implemented wireless solution that is currently deployed at Autodesk.

Integrating with the Autodesk LocationLogic platform, Noblestar has developed a wireless solution for mobile workers and corporate business travelers. This location-sensitive application allows mobile workers to use a wireless device to access time-critical customer and product information, schedules, e-mail and alert notifications. This also introduces a method of access to business travel information such as flight status, turn-by-turn directions, as well as weather and traffic information.

This article was originally published on Tuesday Mar 20th 2001
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