Friday, December 1, 2000

Enterprise quality handsizing software


By Kathy Burns

Last month I introduced the concept of handsizing your organization. I explained that handsizing means the implementation of handheld computers in day-to-day business activities, and I cautioned that while this is an exciting new concept, there are many pros and cons to be taken into consideration before implementing it in your organization.

Like any other corporate planning, your handsizing strategy must address issues unique to your organization. Factors such as which hardware accessories are needed, how to manage content, access and security, and whether to license existing software or implement your own custom solutions should be fully considered. Software strategies must further address the possibility of multiple devices and operating systems being used and how your current back-end systems are designed.

This month we'll look at various Enterprise quality software options that are already available. For those of you who want to handsize quickly, have partial handsizing in place, or simply don't want to "reinvent the wheel," there are a plethora of software options on the market.

Cross functional communication

Sometimes an organization finds itself partially handsized by no design of its own. This happens as more and more people buy handheld computers for personal use, only to discover how useful they are in their everyday business activities. When this happens, you might find that members of your organization are using a variety of different handheld devices and operating systems. This can be very taxing on your IT department, but luckily there's software available that'll allow most of the devices to communicate amicably.

XTNDConnect (formally Enterprise Harmony 99) is an application that allows Windows CE units, Palm devices, Casio Personal Organizers, and Ericsson R3205 Mobile Phones to synchronize contacts, appointments, and memos using just one application. The devices can synchronize with popular PC applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Lotus Organizer, and ACT! At a standard price of $59.95 per seat, this is an affordable option for quick cross functionality implementation. You can find it at

SyncTalk also allows information exchange between Palm OS, Windows CE, Pocket PC, and EPOC users. SyncTalk communication is done via infrared only and allows the various devices to exchange contact information, schedules, notes and documents. At $29.95 per seat, SyncTalk would be ideal for outfitting field representative teams. It's found at