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Visto expands mobile network

The company debuts its latest service for mobile workers, providing universal access to email, address books, files, and other private material.

Visto will next week debut its latest service for mobile workers, which will provide universal access to email, address books, work files, and other private material.

Starting at $9.95 per month, the Visto Briefcaser service allows people who want to work at home on evenings or weekends, for example, to access their latest files from behind a corporate firewall. Users can also try the service free for 30 days before subscribing, the company said.

The service incorporates digital certificates for authentication, as well as SSL for encryption provided by Internet security leader RSA.

To open the Visto Briefcase, subscribers point their Web browsers to www.briefcase.com and after secure authentication, log into their virtual briefcases to enter and update their information.

A user loads the Visto Briefcase with content from existing applications using software called the Visto Assistant. The Visto Assistant runs on the computer in the background, packing and unpacking the Briefcase. Any changes made to the content are sent back to the subscriber's office computer, as well as to any other computers designated to receive the updated information, the company said.

To extend the integration with personal information managers (PIM) in the address book feature, Visto has formed a marketing-technology partnership with Puma Technology, which specializes in PIM synchronization software. Puma's synchronization products cover most PIM packages. The partnership between Puma and Visto enables customers to update their address lists across home and work computers.

In addition to expanding the service features, including a calendar feature by the next product release, the company said it intends to offer a software product to enterprises in 1998.