Open Group Launches Mobile Management Forum

The Open Group has launched the Mobile Management Forum, a consortium dedicated to speeding the adoption of wireless and mobile solutions for the enterprise. The Mobile Management Forum aims to push for standards that ensure global interoperability and that can be subjected to full conformance testing and certification. Consortium co-founders are Argo Interactive, Boeing, Brand Communications, Compaq, Diversinet, hereUare Communications, HP, Hitachi, IBM, JP Morgan, Motorola, NCR, NEC, Sun, Symbian, Synchrologic and XcelleNet.

The Open Group established the forum after it conducted a six-month study and identified five main issues that need to be addressed to accelerate adoption of wireless: session management of wireless devices and applications; data synchronization of mobile devices and networked data; coexistence of various wireless LAN and emerging wireless Personal Area Network (PAN) technologies; authentication, authorization and accounting as it relates to wireless data devices and applications; and wireless device-independent content origination. "Broad deployment of wireless and mobile devices and applications for the enterprise is being inhibited by the lack of interoperable technologies and standards," Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group, said in a statement.

Lack of standards has been a barrier to widespread adoption of wireless, especially in the U.S., according to an Open Group white paper, "Market Drivers for the Foundation of the Mobile Management Forum," available at The paper details the rapid growth of wireless and mobile data devices in Europe and Japan while commenting that "the North American market continues to suffer from the proliferation of incompatible digital cellular standards, which the ‘free market anarchy’ approach has nurtured."

While advocating adoption of standards, the white paper argues that wireless communications technologies will shape and be shaped by the future. "Within three years, more than 100 million employees around the world will regularly work outside the boundaries of the enterprise, without the comfort of continuous LAN or high-speed WAN connections. The workplace will change forever, and this army of ‘location-independent’ workers will share one common characteristic. They will be only intermittently connected to the corporate information systems upon which they depend to do their job."