Nine wireless network companies to watch

Smarter smart phones, beyond the BlackBerry and exploiting XML

emoze , subsidiary of Emblaze Group

Founded: March 2006

Location: Raanana, Israel

What it offers: Software that in effect "BlackBerry-izes" any mobile device: it creates a "push" mobile e-mail capability that exploits the native e-mail client loaded on existing mobile phones, ranging from low-end "feature phones" to advanced smart phones running Windows Mobile, Linux or other full-blown operating systems. The software handles secure synchronization of e-mails, scheduling, contact and task data over cellular or Wi-Fi connections, without the expense of dedicated BlackBerry devices or monthly service fees. In August, the company announced support for Gmail users worldwide.

Using the free personal edition, you register at the emoze Website, and the emoze-hosted gateway then keeps track of whatever e-mail service you use. When it finds a new message, it checks to see if you're online, and if so, it sends the e-mail to your handheld. The corporate edition, now in final stages of development, packages the gateway as a Windows or Linux PC application behind the firewall, where it runs the same functions. No client code is needed, but for advanced operating systems, the gateway downloads a small program that adds some features to a basic native e-mail client. The corporate edition will be available later this fall, priced at US$500 per year for up to 50 users. A Professional Version of the personal edition is due out later this year, with added but as yet undisclosed features for a low fee.

Why it's worth watching: Because it's a beautifully simple idea -- if an infrastructure for push e-mail and PIM synchronization already exists, why not use it instead of paying for something you have to then run yourself? The emoze solution is aimed mainly at the SMB market. You can tell, because it is dirt cheap (personal edition is free; corporate version costs US$500 per year for up to 50 users). At least one other company, U.K.-based Synchronica, is taking a similar approach.

Management: Benny Ballin, CEO. Previously was general manager of the messaging business unit within Comverse; was president and CEO of NetEye, which developed an advanced fraud management systems for network operators. Currently co-founder and board member of diaX, a medical technology start-up focused on blood spectroscopy using remote-sensing technology.

How it got its start: Two software engineers at emoze's parent, Israeli-based Emblaze, were frustrated getting e-mail and PIM synchronized data. They wrote their own program, which Emblaze first adopted and then spun out as a separate company.

How company got its name: This is the most complicated name explanation we've ever printed. The two software engineers responsible for the code are both named, in the English transliteration of the Hebrew, "Moshe" (Moshe Levi, Moshe Gani), which is usually rendered in English as Moses or Mozes, with both forms sounding identical. The founders wanted to use "mozes" in the company name but found a California mobile start-up www.mozes.com already uses it. The short form of "Moshe" is "Mosh," so they shortened "Mozes" to "Moze" and added the "e" for the reason most high-tech companies add that letter to anything.

Funding: Emblaze is bankrolling the company; amount undisclosed.

Who's using the product: Anyone worldwide who registers here.

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John Cox

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