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Symbol CIO: Wireless isn't just a network tool

LAS VEGAS -- At Networld+Interop 2004, Symbol Technologies Inc. announced a new product line called Mobility Services Suite. John G. Bruno, Symbol's chief information officer, sat down with to help us better understand Symbol's technology strategy and to explain more about the company's new products.

Cisco Systems, the leader in the enterprise wireless market, has parlayed its data networking expertise to approach wireless from the networking angle. Symbol's core competency, on the other hand, is with devices, which is in some ways coming at wireless from the other direction. Does that put you at a disadvantage?
The edge of the network is where things change. That's true of Cisco, and Symbol is no different. For any technology you work from the outside in, not the inside out. All successful disruption starts at the edge. Those companies that drive change capitalize on that chaos and create control and containment.

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Read Jim Rendon's interview with Symbol CEO Bill Nuti.

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But with wireless increasingly being integrated into the network, wouldn't a networking company like Cisco have an inherent advantage?
Wireless is not an extension of the wired network. Wireless is just another ingredient in an enterprise mobility system that provides access to infrastructure. Enterprise mobility is what is happening at the edge, not wireless. Enterprise mobility is CRM [customer relationship management] applications and sales force automation extended to the point of activity. It is about trying to create an enterprise mobility strategy that incorporates a lot of technologies.

For decades this company has delivered mobility solutions to all the companies where mobility matters: supply chain, transit [and] logistics. If you had to make money by the use of wireless and mobility, you called Symbol. There is a reason for that. It is because we put together a system. Your focus now is on this "capture, move, manage" strategy --- a holistic view of what mobility requires. Can Symbol really be effective on the management end where it has little experience?
We are not looking to compete with [Hewlett-Packard's] OpenView and [IBM's] Tivoli. We help those systems understand that, for example, devices that are unwired move between access points so they are often associating and disassociating. In that instance, a network management solution will think that something is wrong. But in wireless that is actually correct. We also help maintain [quality of service] for voice calls and make deployment easier. We provide the foundation for those wireless needs.

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