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News
Issue #2002 - 16 (April 2002)
(Updated Apr. 24, 2002)

ACQUISITIONS, MERGERS & AGREEMENTS

XcelleNet Acquires Ehand ab of Sweden

Addition of Ehand Data Synchronization Technology to XcelleNet’s Industry Leading Mobile Device Management Suite an Important Move in Company’s Domination of Mobile Infrastructure Market


ATLANTA (April 22, 2002) XcelleNet, Inc., a leading provider of Mobile Infrastructure solutions, today announced it has acquired Ehand AB, a Swedish software company whose technology links handheld computing devices with corporate business systems. The principal shareholders of Ehand were Telenor Venture and a Pan-European venture capital company, b-business partners, both of which invested in the early stages of Ehand’s development. 

XcelleNet will continue Ehand’s development organization in Sweden to augment US development efforts aimed at providing the most comprehensive solution for the Mobile Infrastructure market. In addition, as a result of this acquisition, XcelleNet will extend its European sales and business development presence throughout the Scandinavian market. 

XcelleNet has worked with Ehand to incorporate enterprise-class, server-based groupware and database synchronization into XcelleNet’s own mobile management solution since signing a joint development agreement in October 2001. New synchronization enhancements were announced today with the general release of Afaria Sync Manager (April 22, 2002). 

“As an existing reseller for both companies, we welcome XcelleNet's acquisition of Ehand,” said Brian Nielsson, Managing Director at HandStep Aps, a leading European reseller of mobile applications. “We are working closely with a growing number of major organizations who want to mobilise their key business applications. The combination of XcelleNet's management software with Ehand's data synchronization is extremely powerful and offers a tightly integrated approach to mobile infrastructure that will be very attractive to our customers and make it easier for us to deliver the solutions they need.”

“The benefit of incorporating Ehand’s technology with XcelleNet’s mobile management solutions has been clear to us and to our customers since signing a joint development agreement in the fourth quarter of last year. Our combined development efforts have quickly produced a solution that provides mobile device management and enterprise application synchronization functions in a single, cost-effective solution,” said XcelleNet CEO Joan Herbig. “The acquisition of Ehand not only provides XcelleNet with a major competitive advantage, but it is also a testament to the company’s strength and financial resources in today’s challenging economic environment.”

As enterprises rapidly move to deploy mobile technology, they are particularly challenged in five areas: gaining control over a myriad of devices, maintaining applications, ensuring currency of data, enabling communications over diverse networks, and enforcing security policies to protect corporate data. XcelleNet, with a long history of providing software and services for mobile business, today offers a comprehensive mobile infrastructure to meet these challenges and assure the continuous flow of information across a distributed enterprise. XcelleNet’s solutions deploy and maintain software, synchronize handheld applications with corporate groupware and enterprise data, enforce system configuration, backup and restore critical information, and track hardware and software assets for all mobile devices from laptops to PDAs to smart phones over any type of wireless or wireline connection.

“For PDAs to become an integral business tool, enterprises must guarantee that these devices are reliably and securely managed. To accomplish this, IT organizations need a robust and flexible infrastructure designed to meet the challenges of mobile deployments for any device in a users personal network,” said Ronni Colville, Research Director, Gartner, Inc. “As a user’s mobile infrastructure grows, Gartner expects significant consolidation as vendors add to their feature sets to address these complex needs.”

The acquisition of Ehand, a privately held software company founded in 1999 and based in Stockholm, Sweden, provides XcelleNet with a foothold in an area of the world that is a hotbed of mobile device development and use. Ehand’s server-based technology provides system vendors and integrators with tools and applications for a mobile work force: integrating PDAs, mobile phones, business systems, enterprise groupware systems and the Internet. 

“The synergies between XcelleNet and Ehand go far beyond technology,” said Erik Bohman, co-founder of Ehand. “XcelleNet is well-respected for its founding role in the mobile management industry. We are excited to be joining its experienced team, and are now assured that our proven technology will be integrated into a mobile solution that continues to lead the Mobile Infrastructure market. Being acquired by XcelleNet is the premier way to capitalize on the development efforts put into Ehand over the last years. XcelleNet's financial resources and established distribution channels will extend our hard work into a variety of industries in a broad range of geographic locations.”

About XcelleNet
XcelleNet, Inc. is a leading provider of Mobile Infrastructure asset management solutions and expertise.  Fortune 500 companies like Schering-Plough, Federated Insurance, American Association for Lutherans, BNP, Coinstar, Blockbuster, Clark Shoes, Hercules Incorporated, TVF, American Greetings, Novartis, Schwarz Pharma, Movie Gallery and Chick-fil-A are examples more than 2,500 customers worldwide benefiting from XcelleNet’s products. XcelleNet’s partners include technology leaders such as Compaq, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Casio, Verizon IT, Symbol, RIM, Palm, and Handspring. 

For more information: Please visit http://www.XcelleNet.com

MobileInfo.com’s Comments & Advisory:  This is a good strategic move for XcelleNet. We have covered asset management space where XcelleNet plays extensively including a series of interviews with major players in this space, including, of course, XcelleNet.  Combining groupware and database synchronization capability to its asset management software suite will enhance XcelleNet product line to a great extent and enable it to obtain more business from its customer base. We see a terrific product synergy between Ehand and XcelleNet. While a product diversification decision is a complex one, we think that one area that XcelleNet should evaluate is device hardware diagnostic management a la Computer Associates Enterprise Management, IBM-Tivoli and HP OpenView functionality. This is an area that continues to be ignored by mobile asset management vendors. While the big enterprise management players would not allow the smaller asset management players to encroach on their territory, we would like to see better integration between the handheld asset management and handheld diagnostic management.

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.


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