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Network World - In an effort to expand its IP business services, AT&T has agreed to pay $121 million to acquire Interwise, which specializes in Web conferencing.
Steve Sobolevitch, the vice president of AT&T Business Development, says that the deal will let AT&T expand its business conference offerings to include more Web and video. Currently, AT&T focuses mainly in audio conferencing.
Interwise’s signature product, Interwise Connect, is described as “an all-software, native IP-based application” that delivers voice, Web and video conferencing for a fixed price. Interwise’s ECP Connect was one of two services to win Network World’s award for the best convergence products in 2006.
“We are gaining entry into a robust IP collaboration market,” Sobolevitch says. “We already have a robust audio conferencing business, but now we can integrate Web conferencing as well.”
Neil Lieberman, the CMO of Interwise, says that what makes Interwise Connect so unique is that it offers a flexible hybrid of deployment options that lets users switch back and forth between hosted and on-site services. This lets users “get the security of onsite services with the rapid deployment of a hosted service,” he says.
Under the purchasing agreement, Interwise will operate as a business unit within AT&T Global Business Services. AT&T said in a press release that it expected to retain all of Interwise’s national and international operations, including its Israel-based R&D center. Lieberman says that Interwise will benefit from AT&T’s network capability, as well as its sales and marketing strength.
“We have phenomenal technology, but we certainly can’t claim to have kind of network that AT&T has in terms of a global MPLS IP network that reaches over 100 countries,” he says.
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