IBM Acquires WebDialogs; Launches Family of Unified Communications and Collaboration Software

Aug 28, 2007

IBM has acquired WebDialogs, Inc., a Billerica, Massachusetts-based, privately-held provider of web conferencing and communications services, with more than 500,000 users worldwide. Financial details were not disclosed. WebDialogs offers online meeting and collaboration services that combine web and audio conferencing into one experience. Since it is deployed as a service, WebDialogs technology does not require support from an organization’s IT department.

With the acquisition of WebDialogs, IBM is adding a software as a service delivery model to the Lotus Sametime family of products, providing customers with choice and flexibility in how they buy and operate their web conferencing services. IBM will also integrate the service with its collaboration portfolio, including IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Sametime software.

IBM has also unveiled the next phase of its unified communication and collaboration strategy by expanding its IBM Lotus Sametime software into a product family that will include new telephony integration software. Lotus Sametime “Unified Telephony” software is a new IBM offering that is being developed to bring telephone communications into the business applications people use most. Based in part on elements of Siemens Openscape technology, this product will make it possible to manage communications across multiple business telephone systems and access them through virtually any application.

With the Lotus Sametime “Unified Telephony” product, users will be able to: manage incoming calls; see who is available to communicate and how; connect with colleagues faster; and connect with a variety of back-end and legacy systems. Lotus Sametime “Unified Telephony” will be designed to work in mixed-vendor environments with multiple business telephone systems, enabling businesses to provide a common look and feel for their users, regardless of back-end systems.