Still Room For More Profit In Wireless E-Mail

Blackberry server wireless e-mail

High costs remain the biggest stumbling block to wireless e-mail adoption by businesses.

Only 13 percent of VARs polled said they are leveraging Good Technology's products, a platform that could offer the biggest revenue stream to VARs. The company's Goodlink solutions bring wireless synchronization to dozens of common devices, such as smart phones, Pocket PCs and PalmOne devices.

Interestingly, 28 percent of solution providers recommend T-Mobile's Sidekick as a wireless solution. The Sidekick tends to eschew any server or desktop integration in favor of its own dedicated Web-based tools. The only integration opportunity for the VAR is to set up POP3 access to corporate e-mail.

Fifty-eight percent of solution providers said they feel that a complete synchronization solution consisting of integrated cell phone, wireless e-mail, instant messaging and scheduling is a must, but 49 percent are finding the high cost of devices and coverage plans the stumbling block to garnering additional sales. That prompts the question, are wireless data costs artificially expensive? After all, some wireless vendors such as T-Mobile offer unlimited wireless data for a low cost, while others charge by data volume.

The key to success in this market is to find low-cost plans and offer as many wireless capabilities as possible. That creates a bit of a conundrum, as low-cost devices such as T-Mobile's Sidekick offer no integration opportunities, while devices robust in integration capabilities often come with expensive services.

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The good news is as prices continue to fall, which is the nature of the information industry, the floodgates should open, making wireless devices a must-have for any business and a gold mine for savvy solution providers.