Adesso Hunts IBM, Microsoft VARs

The company's software extends business applications to Windows-based handheld and smartphone devices. To date, Boston-based Adesso has sold direct, but is now recruiting VARs from Microsoft and IBM Software communities.

John Hendrickson, CEO of InterDyn Business MicroVAR, a Minneapolis-based Microsoft Business Solutions partner, is already aboard. Adesso hopes to recruit 35 to 50 VARs total.

Adesso's offering may make mobile applications more of a reality, Hendrickson said. "Everyone's been talking about mobility, but there are few deliverables. I can take this software into a company and train them how to mobile-enable their apps," he said.

"Adesso can let [Lotus Notes and Microsoft VARs] take advantage of huge trends—miniaturization of devices, wireless networks—and let them walk into customers, sell some new product and services and move up the value chain," said Adesso CEO Dennis Kelly.

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Companies trying to untether CRM, ERP and other applications are mostly using "one-off" or custom tools, "piecemealing things together," Hendrickson said. "That's time-consuming and expensive. Here's a nice tool that is tested and supported."

Partners get their own free software and high- margin customization and implementation services. The software costs users from $35 to $70 per user per month, depending on the applications.

Adesso Chairman John Landry, formerly of Lotus Development and IBM, and once a notorious Microsoft basher, now can't say enough nice things about the software giant. He extols the .Net programming environment. Meanwhile, its target devices are PocketPCs, any device running WinCE, and desktops and laptops running Windows 98 or later. The underlying database is Microsoft's JET engine, SQL Server or SQL Server Desktop Engine, depending on the user's device.

The company plans to keep its Microsoft client focus but extend back-end support to database engines.