Migrating to the mobile Internet

As mobile solutions emerge that push enterprise systems out to mobile workers, companies are weighing the benefit of increased productivity against myriad risks that include security, cost, manageability, and usability. For the tentative corporation, there is a solution that gives you a way to get your feet wet before taking the plunge.

YadaYada (www.yadayada.com) recently released its mobile Internet portal, which enables companies, or even individual employees, to access e-mail and the web from mobile devices. In addition, users can access the "My YadaYada" portal to receive personalized information, such as stock updates, weather, and news.

Rick Zeiler, Brand Promotion Manager for J�germeister, is a beta user of the service. Zeiler, who accessed YadaYada via his Handspring Visor and a Minstrel S wireless modem, said the main benefit of the service was gaining access to any web page from anywhere, instead of being locked into a walled garden of wireless sites, the approach of some competing services. "When I'm on the road," Zeiler said, "this service, while not quite as good as being on a PC, is the next best thing." Zeiler's only complaint was that some sites still serve up too much information, forcing him into the cumbersome task of wading through many menu options.

Sarah Grossman, YadaYada's Director of Communications, said that the current service is only the first phase of their wireless rollout. Their browser supports HTML, XML, and frames, and, on the back end, YadaYada optimizes sites for handheld screens, transforming otherwise unorganized information into columns. Some sites still come through as larger than the screen itself, and, in those cases, users see only a portion of the page. They navigate these pages by pressing the screen with their stylus, a technique that Grossman contends is more user-friendly than scroll bars. Users can also see pictures and active links, but YadaYada filters out Flash and Java scripts, which tend to bog down handhelds.

Currently in open beta, YadaYada's commercial launch is slated for January 15. For corporations, YadaYada will launch its enterprise service later in 2001. The B2B portal will give professionals real-time access to industry-related information, as well as allowing them to maintain a synchronized PIM (Personal Information Manager). When working with enterprise customers, YadaYada will provide added back-end support, helping companies to push out only device-appropriate, actionable data to their mobile employees.

This was first published in January 2001

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