Good Technology Inc. has cut more than 100 jobs, or one-fifth of its work force, in recent weeks as part of the mobile e-mail company’s growing emphasis on partnering with cellular operators such as Cingular Wireless and Sprint Nextel Corp. rather than direct sales.
Good, whose GoodLink service is a small but fast-growing rival to BlackBerry from Research In Motion Ltd., told The Associated Press on Tuesday that its total staff has fallen from about 500 positions to 400. The new tally includes an undisclosed number of hires in roles other than direct sales.
The restructuring comes about three months after Good announced a deal in which Cingular, the nation’s biggest cell phone provider, began selling GoodLink directly to its subscribers at a sizable discount. A similar deal with Sprint was announced in July.
The two carrier deals have provided a big boost for Good as it wrestles for market share with the dominant BlackBerry service, which has more than 3 million users. Good, a private company based in Santa Clara, Calif., last reported that it has 7,000 corporate accounts, up from 4,000 at the end of last year, but doesn’t disclose how many individual users it has.
Real-time mobile access to e-mail and other information such as calendars and contacts is increasingly seen as a must-have business tool.
As a result, a wide range of software and device makers are targeting the market, including Nokia Corp., which announced a new business e-mail and productivity application for its “smart” phones Tuesday.
The Finnish company said the new application, Nokia Business Center, will join rather than replace the existing lineup of mobile e-mail options from BlackBerry, Good, Seven Networks Inc. and Visto Corp. for Nokia devices.
Good Chief Executive Danny Shader said his company’s restructuring has been driven by the carriers, who have asked for support in other areas.
“When we were selling on our own, we needed a high scale sales organization, which we built,” Shader said. “Then we started selling with the operators, and they made it clear they didn’t want to staff that way. They said we need the guys out in the field. … The right thing to do is support our channel partners the way they want us to.”