• June 1, 2005
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Cingular B2B Gets Good

Cingular is offering Good Technology's GoodLink messaging services and software directly to business customers, the companies announced this week. GoodLink is now available for any Palm OS or Windows Mobile device supported by Cingular, and will be billed through Cingular. It is the first wireless provider in the world to offer GoodLink directly to B2B customers. GoodLink from Cingular is designed to boost the efficiency of mobile workers through continuous two-way synchronization of Microsoft Outlook functions while under Cingular's sizable coverage umbrella. The software's Outlooklike user interface will help keep road warriors in touch with their emails, calendars, contacts, and task lists. A number of features, including encryption, remote data wipe, password policy management, and over-the-air device provisioning will give the client's IT department considerable control and support options. In addition, the client's technical staff will be able to quickly activate and upgrade the features of GoodLink and third-party applications via remote connection. Good Technology will continue to sell GoodLink and related software to customers on a global basis. The company currently has cooperative sales and marketing agreements with 75 wireless carriers in 40 countries, according to Terry Austin, president of worldwide sales and marketing. "We're very excited right now to be entering this partnership with Cingular. Their coverage and depth of services complement GoodLink exceptionally well, and doubles our existing worldwide access for data services," Austin says. Cingular devices that will initially support GoodLink include the palmOne Treo 650 and the Siemens SX66 Pocket PC. Both of these quad-band phone/PDA combo devices are able to receive Cingular voice service in more than 160 countries, and will be able to access GoodLink's data services in more than 80. Cingular is offering GoodLink for $44.99 per month with a qualified voice plan, a price that includes unlimited data transmission. However, customers must also purchase the $1,500 Starter Pak, which includes a year of technical support from Good, as well as Cingular business customer care for the life of the contract. There is also a one-time, $99-per-user GoodLink client access license fee. According to Austin, the technical support from his company will be renewable on an annual basis, with various service options including 24/7 support and on-premise resources. "One of the differentiators [of Good Technology] is our exceptional customer care and technical support. We will continue to offer support as a leading reason for customers to choose us," Austin says. These prices, coupled with the cost of the supported handsets, indicate that GoodLink from Cingular is intended for enterprise-level customers, according to Kevin Burden, program manager for mobile devices at IDC. "Enterprises investing in wireless email want a combination of a powerful data network, device choice, and a secure, easy-to-use and manage wireless messaging and PIM system," Burden says. An important distinction of GoodLink's is that there's no wireless data component beyond the email and PIM functions. "GoodAccess is the data delivery solution, built on GoodLink," Burden says, "but GoodAccess isn't supported as part of this agreement." Data services are an important growth portion of Good's business, as well as for the wireless industry in general, according to Burden, but it isn't yet a large part of the market. "This means that Cingular and Good can get enterprise email and PIM systems up and running in the short term," Burden says. "And when the enterprise comes back to them in a few years looking for packet services, they already have a foot in the door." Related articles: Carrier Consolidation Continues
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