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New global alliance formed around Symbian to create innovative Smartphones and Communicators
Posted: 15-Feb-2000 [Source: Symbian press release]

[ARM, Cadence, Digia, Dextra, Kanrikogaku Kenkyusho, Omron, Phoenix, Teleca, Vanteon, Wipro and Zi partner with Symbian in global alliance to develop new products for the Wireless Information Devices market. ]

San Francisco, Calif. -- At the opening of Symbian's Developer Conference in Santa Clara, California, Symbian announced the Symbian Competence Center program - a world-wide partnership initiative to drive the development of innovative Smartphones and Communicators. The first companies to enter this partnership and become designated Symbian Competence Centers lead the wireless industry with their development and system integration skills on the Symbian platform. Working closely with Symbian's licensees, Symbian Competence Centers will offer a mixture of product and business development, engineering and project management skills.

Symbian has initially appointed ARM, Cadence, Digia, Dextra, Kanrikogaku Kenkyusho, Omron, Phoenix, Teleca, Vanteon, Wipro and Zi as Symbian Competence Centers. Covering the US, Asia Pacific, and Europe, these companies offer key technical, development and engineering support for companies developing Symbian based Wireless Information Devices.

"We're creating skilled third party resources to enable rapid product creation of Symbian based Communicators and Smartphones. Acting as an extension of Symbian's organization, the Symbian Competence Centers are independent companies who have the skills and expertise to manage, create and develop products in close cooperation with Symbian's licensees," said Juha Christensen, Executive Vice President, Symbian. "This new initiative demonstrates our commitment to evangelize opportunities for the wider wireless community, with the end result of growing the mass market for Wireless Information Devices."

Symbian Competence Centers will encourage the rapid dissemination of core skills, innovative techniques and knowledge of the Symbian platform. With an increase of focus on innovation, continuously shortening product development cycles, and market targeting flexibility, this will mean earlier Smartphone and Communicator availability for mobile users. With these industry leaders, Symbian continues to build up a strong wireless community bringing together content, services and technology onto Wireless Information Devices.

"The appointment of ARM as a Symbian Competence Center is further proof of the ARM(r) architecture's acceptance as a de facto standard for wireless applications," said Mike Muller, executive vice president of Business Development, ARM. "ARM and its Partnership business model will be in alignment with Symbian, with the goal of creating opportunities that will contribute to the overall growth in the mass market for wireless information devices."

"This represents an important step in our commitment to design and deliver the next generation of data enabled communications devices for our customers," said Brent Hudson, VP of Cadence Wireless and Multimedia design group. "This is an exciting market where our relationship with Symbian builds on our existing technology and capability portfolio to provide a very attractive proposition for our customers."

Mr. Daniel Chavez, Dextra Technologies Inc.'s. Chief Executive Officer, said "Dextra is excited to become a Symbian Competence Center. Dextra is well versed in Internet technologies and software development capabilities for Internet appliances. On the latter, our experience with device-based browser technologies, transport protocols such as WAP, the Symbian platform, and new technologies such as Bluetooth will position Dextra to be part of this growing opportunity."

"We believe that Digia is quite uniquely positioned as a Symbian Competence Center to make software development for the third generation Wireless Information Devices. Finland is a forerunner in both mobile phone and Internet penetration and many of the new concepts will be tested here first," said Mr. Pekka Sivonen, CEO, Digia, Finland. "Our expertise in digital media development, wireless software design and related professional services are the value-added that Digia wants to bring in, when creating a future-proof ecosystem around the Symbian platform."

"Kanrikogaku Kenkyusho has been working with Symbian especially in internationalization and localization, and has already had experience developing devices with Symbian licensees. We know the importance of handling the local language and optimizing the User Interface (UI) to the specific devices," said Tetsutaro Yoshimura, President of Kanrikogaku Kenkyusho Ltd., Japan. "Soon, users will be able to roam wireless networks all over the world, and they will get used to bringing their Wireless Information Devices anywhere. That means we need a whole new concept of software design in the wide range of the software layer, i.e. server services, User Interfaces, applications and so on. Kanrikogaku Kenkyusho will work in close partnership with Symbian and its licensees by developing new software which will have high functionality but also well designed services and User Interfaces."

Hideto Matsushita, General Manager, R&D Department of Omron Software Co., Ltd., commented: "We have a lot of experience in software development of embedded and real-time systems, through the development of automation systems. We have recently given high priority to development of technology to apply Java, which is the new development paradigm, to embedded systems. Now we are in the age of the network, with networked embedded devices which have an intelligent interface by the progress of IT technology. We have optimized our competencies in competitive technologies such as natural language processing, human machine interface, and Java computing for embedded systems, like cellar phones, and we offer the best solution in providing third generation "Network Appliances" with high added value."

"Leveraging our unique experience with hardware platforms, operating systems, and power management, Phoenix is well positioned to help Symbian's customers as a Competence Center," said Al Sisto, president and CEO of Phoenix. "Phoenix understands the importance of developing global standards for wireless Internet devices and believes that its leadership and experience, coupled with Symbian's expertise in this market can generate significant value among wireless users and pave the road for the development of global standards."

"We believe that wireless devices are the future of computing," said Nick Wood, Director of Teleca Ltd., UK. "Naturally, we are pleased to be able to offer our customers solutions based around Symbian's class-leading technology. We have been working with Symbian since the day it was formed, so Competence Center status is a natural progression for Teleca. We look forward to working in partnership to combine our in-depth development expertise and Symbian's industry-backed platform to developing innovative new products for licensees."

"We are very excited about the Symbian Competence Center partnership. Symbian provides the platform of the future for wireless and other devices, and Vanteon is dedicated to enabling this technology. As a strategic development resource, Vanteon will work closely with Symbian and its licensees to speed up the commercialization of the next generation of WIDs, leveraging Vanteon's expertise in wireless and handheld technologies," said Jonathan Sacks, Vanteon's chairman and CEO. "Our company's expertise in providing comprehensive software, hardware, quality assurance and e-Business solutions, including all required Internet connectivity and back-end services, gives Vanteon the unique ability to provide Symbian and its OEM customers with a single partner that can provide all the features and functionality that users will want from their future wireless and handheld devices."

Dr. A. L. Rao, Chief Executive, Global R&D, the technology arm of Wipro Technologies, says "The creation of the Wipro Symbian Competence Center ensures a strengthening of our integrated service offerings for the emerging mobile computing market. By adding Symbian competency to our expertise in the areas of VLSI/System, Embedded Systems and Communication Technologies, we have enhanced our offerings for complete product development services." Mr. Ramesh Emani, Chief Executive of the Telecom Division of Wipro Technologies, adds, "At Wipro, we have demonstrated how we aid telecom equipment vendors to speed up their product development through our offshore software development services. This partnership with Symbian will help us offer end-to-end solutions for equipment vendors as well as for telecom service operators in the emerging mobile applications market."

"Zi enables Internet and information appliances with an intuitive, predictive user interface for world languages," says Antoine Blondeau, senior vice president, Marketing & Sales for Zi Corporation. "Our software engineering and integration expertise and strong presence in the Far East will benefit Symbian and its licensees."

The new Symbian Competence Center partners are participating in Symbian's US Developers Conference and Exhibition in Santa Clara Convention Center in California, February 15 - 17. As well as offering a mixture of Symbian-led presentations, demonstrations, workshops and training sessions, there will be opportunities to hear from the other leading voices in the wireless industry including Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Matsushita, Panasonic, Nokia, Oracle, Psion, Qualcomm, Sun Microsystems, and Sybase. For more details see www.symbiandevnet.com.

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