Dell Computer Corp, seeking to boost sales to corporate customers, said it will begin selling wireless e-mail and data services provided by closely held Good Technology Inc to businesses this year.
Dell, the largest seller of server computers in the US, also said it will work with Good Technology to develop new wireless hand-held computers and services designed to run on advanced cellular networks. The companies' sales and marketing alliance doesn't involve any equity exchange.
Good Technology provides a wireless messaging system known as GoodLink that's built to work with different types of hand-held operating systems. The company also sells a hand-held device, the G100, that lets users access information and synchronize with servers without using a cradle or installing special software on a personal computer. Dell will begin selling the G100 in the third quarter.
"We got a lot of feedback from customers that wireless messaging was too hard and too expensive," said Tony Bonadero, who oversees Dell's wireless and hand-held businesses. "They would like to see Dell make it more affordable and more standards-based."
Dell and Good are betting demand for wireless messaging will increase as cellular networks improve and common standards pave the way for new functions and lower prices for services.
"Wireless text messaging is very important" to businesses, said Kevin Burden, program manager of the mobile devices group at research firm IDC. "Dell has seen the momentum that BlackBerry sales are gaining and has seen the opportunity."
Good Technology said its GoodLink service gives users continuous access to company information such as contacts, calendars and customer data.
Since Dell began shipping hand-held computers last November, it has climbed to fourth in that market behind Palm Inc, Hewlett- Packard Co and Sony Corp.
Good Technology, based in Sunnyvale, California, plans to raise its third round of institutional venture capital funding this year, Chief Executive Officer Danny Shader said. Good, backed by venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Benchmark Capital, has raised US$76 million since its March 2000 founding, Shader said.
Shares of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell rose US$0.42 to US$29.75 as of 4pm New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.