Despite improvements in recent years, the wireless industry has done a poor job of giving companies the tools they need to let workers access corporate data from mobile devices, Cisco CIO Brad Boston said last week at 3GSM World Congress, a huge mobile and wireless event held this year in Barcelona, Spain.Despite improvements in recent years, the wireless industry has done a poor job of giving companies the tools they need to let workers gain access to corporate data from mobile devices, Cisco CIO Brad Boston said last week at 3GSM World Congress, a huge mobile and wireless event held this year in Barcelona, Spain.Boston said he was amazed as he walked around the show floor to see how many companies are focused on consumers rather than the enterprise. "There's a lack of focus on what we need," he said in a speech.Boston figures that Cisco represents an opportunity for the mobile industry to sell as many as 40,000 devices. Yet it's been a struggle to develop a mobile program for Cisco employees, he said.He began planning a mobile strategy a few years ago when he found that Cisco workers used about 12,000 Palm- and Windows-based devices and that many were used to access corporate data. He was concerned that a lack of security in the devices could let Cisco intellectual property leak into the wrong hands. To regain control, his team began to develop a program to support the mobile devices.It wasn't easy. Boston found there was no single place to buy all the software he needed, and his team had to cobble together components to secure and manage the devices and enable remote access to corporate data. "When I talk to my peers, they all have the same problem," he said.Another challenge was that operators like to customize devices with their own software and branding. That can be difficult for a global company such as Cisco, which would have to test its corporate software on a device that may be sold by 30 or more operators around the globe.Over the last six months, Cisco has put 6,000 wireless PDAs in the hands of workers and plans to increase that number to 15,000 over the next six months, Boston said.He acknowledged that mobile devices are improving in terms of their reliability and flexibility.Vendors at the event tried to highlight what they are doing to advance mobile products and services:Nokia hinted at upcoming VoIP, camera optical zoom and WiMAX support on its phones. The company said it will release phones that can work with cellular networks and wireless LANs in the second quarter.Broadcom announced processor technology it said could enable mobile networks to support twice as many calls at higher quality.Texas Instruments said Global System for Mobile Communications handsets could cost as little as $20 by year-end because of its new LoCosto four-in-one chip technology.Microsoft aired for the first time some Windows Live for Mobile services, including search technology that returns results relevant to a particular location.Access, which recently bought PalmSource, introduced a Linux operating system for smart-phone developers.Skype announced a partnership with Hutchison 3G, a provider of IP-based mobile broadband networks in Europe, to offer what could be the first VoIP service for mobile phones.