Customers Like Funambol Because It Supports Different Types of Devices

By Ed Silverstein August 11, 2011

Customers prefer having products that give them more choices.

For instance, Funambol doesn’t keep data tied to specific providers. Apple’s iCloud, on the other hand, is considered more Apple-centric.

But with Funambol, data and content are independent from whatever device they have, or whatever operator they are using.

Hal Steger, vice president of marketing for Funambol, took some time to talk with TMC CEO Rich Tehrani, as part of an On the Road interview, in San Jose, Calif.

One focus was how Funambol’s MediaHub is like iCloud but is used for all mobile phones and connected devices.

Funambol (pronounced Fu-NAHM-bol) is derived from the Latin words funis (rope) and ambulare (walking), meaning tightrope walker. Funambol continuously balances the needs of commercial customers and the open source community, the company explains.

Funambol’s MediaHub is a cloud digital locker that syncs pictures, video and music, files and PIM data across smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected devices, the company said.

It works with multiple vendor devices.

Funambol is also hearing from its customers that the service needs to support lots of different types of devices.

“It doesn’t make sense from a user’s point of view to have one cloud that only works with Apple devices, and another cloud that only works with Android, and another cloud that only works with Blackberry,” Steger said. “From a user’s point of view, they would prefer to have one cloud that works across other devices. So that’s what our customers are telling us. Make sure the service we’re providing to them supports all the different devices.”

MediaHub lets photos and video on smartphones be viewed on an Android tablet. Or, it lets music on a PC or Mac to be stored in the cloud and played on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

The company’s product is “white label” which means software is provided to other mobile operators, device makers, portals or system integrators.

“We are a B to B to C company,” Steger said, referring to Business-to-Business-to-Consumer.

“Now that Apple has introduced iCloud, that’s helping to legitimize the market,” Steger adds. “So they [white label customers] see there is a big opportunity and big need for them to provide a locker, so that Apple doesn’t … take their users.”

Another area touched on in the interview was HTML5 – which is considered a “game changer.”

HTML5 lets developers build rich applications that build across many devices, according to Steger.

As the company looks to the future, Steger said, it expects to expand by forming partnerships with many different content companies, such as music providers or movie providers.


Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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