FirstHand Mobilizes the Enterprise

The company formerly known as SIPquest announces a new name, new funding, a new partner, and a new addition to its product line.

 By Ted Stevenson
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The first of these announcements actually came late last month—May 24th to be exact. Asserting that "the quest for SIP has been achieved," the Ottawa-based company boldly launched a new identity: FirstHand Technologies—bolstered by $7 million in venture funding to see it through its next phase.

In case you're not familiar with SIPquest/FirstHand, its technology takes aim at the intersection between enterprise phone systems and mobile phone devices.

70 million Americans use cell phones for work, the company points out, but those phones are outside the enterprise management structure, and cut off from the enterprise communications network and its associated applications. To remedy this situation, FirstHand has developed a cluster of software apps—two clients and a server—that "project PBX features into the mobile domain."

The clients are Mobile Assistant, which ports enterprise telephony and directory services to smartphones, and Mobile Console 2.0, which, in addition, brings mobile VoIP to Wi-Fi-equipped mobile device, whether single- or dual-mode.

Specifically, those services include call screening, enterprise (extension) dialing, a searchable, presence-enabled enterprise directory, group calling, and non-SMS instant text messaging—as well as the Wi-Fi/cellular handoff capabilities of Mobile Console.

Announced yesterday at GLOBALCOMM in Chicago was the release of the server piece—Enterprise Mobility Gateway—which is architected to interoperate with a number of leading IP PBXs (from 3COM, Cisco, and Nortel) and "project" their services and features to Mobile-Assistant- or Mobile-Console-equipped devices in the field.

"Using the breakthrough capabilities of the FirstHand Enterprise Mobility solution, users can accelerate decisions, increase productivity, strengthen regulatory compliance, and improve mobile expense control," commented FirstHand president and CEO, David Hattey.

Also announced yesterday was the completion of interoperability testing between BroadSoft Inc.'s BroadWorks hosted VoIP service and the Mobile Console client, making BroadSoft the latest of FirstHand's major technology partners.

This article was originally published on Jun 7, 2006
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