Paging Network Inc. announced a strategic agreement with Computer Associates Inc. to jointly develop and market a monitoring product that integrates PageNet’s wireless information delivery abilities with CA’s Unicenter TNG enterprise management system.
The service will allow TNG server management system customers to be notified via pager of problems with their respective systems, PageNet said. Customers with two-way service also can respond to the alert with pre-defined responses initiated at the pager to fix the problem.
For instance, if Unicenter TNG is monitoring a computerized temperature control system, and the temperature reaches an unacceptable level, Unicenter TNG recognizes the problem and will send a page to the appropriate IT tech.
The product offering will package PageNet pagers and service-branded with both PageNet and Unicenter logos-with the Unicenter TNG. Customers can choose one-way or two-way pagers and service. The two-way option will use Motorola Inc.’s PageWriter 2000 two-way pager. PageNet resells SkyTel Communications Inc.’s ReFLEX 50 two-way network.
The joint product is not commercially available, the companies said, but is being beta tested. They gave no date as to when it is expected nor did they name a price.
Jack Frazee, PageNet chairman, president and chief executive officer, and Charles Wang, chairman and CEO of CA, demonstrated how the integration will work during a press conference last week at the PC Expo in New York.
Frazee has long been a proponent of enhancing paging’s image, and the struggle was apparent at the press conference. One reporter questioned him as to whether a pager would really be able to receive such complex technical information, apparently with the assumption that pagers can only receive messages of limited value. Frazee explained “you can get the Bible on this thing,” referring to the pager, and that his philosophy is to bring valuable information to the mobile environment.
Frazee called the announcement a “coming-out party” for PageNet, which he has been trying to position as a provider of value-added information.
“We’re in the customized information business … We’re not in the paging business,” he said at the conference. In a written release, he explained further, “A key component of this strategy is the delivery of customized solutions for businesses that improve employee performance and company productivity.”
Under the terms of the agreement, PageNet will supply CA employees with paging services and devices, and will use the Unicenter TNG itself as its enterprise management solution. PageNet before used IBM/Tivoli TME management software.
Unicenter TNG allows users to monitor and control their technology infrastructure, concluded point-of-sale devices, automated teller machines, manufacturing lines, desktop computers, mainframe servers and the Internet.