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Elevator deal a lift for wireless firm

Amid a lousy IT market, Extended Systems nabs a deal with Otis Elevator that'll have employees wirelessly accessing service information.

Otis Elevator plans to announce Thursday a test program to allow its field technicians to wirelessly access service information using software from Extended Systems.

The No. 1 maker of elevators and escalators said it plans to use Extended Systems' software to give technicians data access using a variety of devices including Web-enabled phones, two-way pagers and handheld computers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The agreement is the first customer win for Extended Systems since it completed its acquisition of rival ViaFone earlier this week. Extended Systems, like others trying to pitch large companies on using handhelds for accessing corporate data, has had a hard time closing deals amid a sluggish IT market.

In July, the company reported a $2.2 million quarterly net loss on revenue of $5.6 million, down from $6.3 million in the prior quarter and $6.8 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Extended Systems, which helps companies give workers access to corporate data on wireless devices, is best known for being the acquisition target of handheld giant Palm. Palm announced plans to buy the Boise, Idaho-based company in March 2001 but scrapped the deal two months later as its share price plummeted.