Jacada, PassCall Partner on WAP Integration

Jacada Ltd. (Atlanta), a provider of e-business infrastructure software, and PassCall Advanced Technologies Ltd. (Tirat Hacarmel, Israel), makers of wireless Internet text and voice middleware applications, announced an alliance to market solutions that will provide connectivity to any Internet or mainframe application from any wireless device.

Under the agreement, PassCall and Jacada will work to make Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-based solutions available to AS/400 and mainframe customers worldwide. David Holmes, senior VP of marketing for Jacada, says the partnership with PassCall allows the company to be better prepared and equipped to enter an important market for potential consumers of Jacada’s e-business products.

PassCall's technology provides users of wirless devices with Internet access through existing Web sites.
“What PassCall provides is the ability to take existing HTML sources and make them compatible with WAP—which is not something we provide natively,” says Holmes.PassCall’s technology provides users of mobile phones and other wireless devices with Internet access through existing Web sites. PassCall's GateWave product allows wireless access to Internet sites in any language. Jacada Wireless is a suite of solutions enabling wireless devices to integrate with existing legacy applications. It supports any WAP-enabled device and Personal Digital Assistants (PDA).

For now, according to Holmes, Jacada’s agreement with PassCall represents a co-marketing relationship only. However, he would not rule out the possibility that the two companies could form a collaborative development agreement for certain kinds of products in the future. He said Jacada is eventually looking to develop WAP-enabled wireless solutions, adding that PassCall’s focus fits well with that strategy.

“Our focus within the wireless market is really business-to-business, or more specifically business-to-employee,” Holmes explains. “It’s just the natural extension of what we do. The wireless device is just the next generation thin-client device.”

Holmes adds that although WAP has yet to catch on in the United States to the extent it has in Europe, he believes it is only a matter of time until the protocol becomes a worldwide standard. Because of that, he says, it is an opportune time for a software company to begin investing in wireless application technology, in this case by partnering with a leader in the field. For PassCall, which has little access to North American distribution channels, the agreement opens up a host of new markets for its products.

“We’ve been looking at the wireless market for some time and trying to decide how we should get into it. But not just throwing products up against the wall, really trying to find out what people want,” Holmes says. “So that when it does become a palatable solution in North America, we’re able to bring a high-quality technology to market.”

With the growing popularity of devices such as the Palm Pilot, Holmes sees his customers coming to a point where they will want to use wireless devices for more than just checking stock quotes or viewing. He says the demand for the kind of technology PassCall provides—and Jacada hopes to develop—has surpassed the company’s expectations.

“To be honest, we’ve been shocked at the real interest we’ve found in this technology,” he explains. “As a software company, you want to be associated with the latest and greatest technology, so we knew it would be cool to associate with wireless, but we didn’t really have a sense of the legitimate demand for the technology.”

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    Related Information:

  • PassCall Advanced Technologies Ltd. (new window)
  • Jacada Ltd. (new window)
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