9/16/2002 - Extended Systems, a leading provider of mobile information management solutions for the enterprise, helped put technology into nearly 2,500 University of South Dakota (USD) studentsí hands last week when the companyís server-based data synchronization software was deployed on campus to students and faculty using Palm handheld devices.
Distribution of the devices is part of USDís "Palm Initiative," a two-year pilot program announced in the spring of 2001 to determine how handheld computers could enhance the educational experience. Specifically, the university wanted a cost-efficient mobile technology solution that would help students develop organizational skills, gain better access to course materials, improve communication with faculty and peers, and encourage the use of other types of technology.
Now into its second year, approximately 2,500 Palm devices have been distributed to students and faculty and USDís IT staff has refined the program to enhance usersí mobile capabilities. The most prominent change is the addition of Extended Systemsí XTNDConnect Server data synchronization software. Now students are able to access and update, via Infrared ports around campus, email, course material and information from faculty and peers, notes taken during lectures, homework assignments, appointments, and much more. And, according to Roberta Ambur, USDís chief information officer (CIO), XTNDConnect Server was easy to integrate into USDís existing infrastructure.
"This yearís deployment went even smoother than last year," said Ambur. "Not being able to sync and backup was a real issue. Several companies wanted to partner with us to develop a solution, but we needed a product that would work right out of the box. After an intense evaluation, we determined that Extended Systemsí software was superior to other products we tested. XTNDConnect not only met our core criteria, it allowed us to expand the program."
XTNDConnect was also deemed as a critical factor in making USDís mobile initiative a success. Its ability to work on several handheld operating systems, platforms, and existing infrastructure bodes well for the future of USD's Palm Initiative. "Other devices arenít part of the program now, but could be in the future," said Ambur.
About XTNDConnect Server
Extended Systemsí XTNDConnect Server mobile data management and synchronization software enables IT departments to securely integrate and manage the myriad of mobile devices and applications that are becoming increasingly important to the corporate enterprise. XTNDConnect Server enables users to synchronize Palm, Pocket PC, SyncML, Symbian and RIM mobile devices with corporate servers including Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and any database accessible via ADO, ODBC or custom SDK. The cross-platform support that XTNDConnect Server provides is particularly notable as it provides IT managers with a single mobile data management solution for multiple devices and applications.
About Extended Systems (www.extendedsystems.com)
Extended Systems provides the expertise, strategy and solutions to help enterprise organizations realize their business goals through mobile technology. The companyís software and services portfolio includes data synchronization and device management solutions; mobile applications for sales, service and pharmaceutical professionals; mobile application development tools and services; and Bluetooth and IrDA wireless connectivity software. Extended Systems has more than 2,200 enterprise customers and key alliance relationships with 3Com, Agilent, Ericsson, Handspring, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Palm, Sharp, Siemens and Toshiba.
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