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10/1/2007
11:14 AM
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AT&T To Buy Interwise To Beef Up Online Conferencing

Interwise's services let users treat voice, Web, and videoconferencing like e-mail, producing an easy-to-use and inexpensive system.

AT&T said it will acquire online conferencing provider Interwise for $121 million and combine it with AT&T's global MPLS-based IP network.

Interwise's voice-, Web-, and videoconferencing services are aimed at midsize to large businesses. The service enables users to treat voice, Web, and videoconferencing like e-mail, producing an easy-to-use and inexpensive system. The acquisition was announced Monday.

"The addition of Interwise's technology and expertise in conferencing to AT&T's global reach, networking, and conferencing capabilities will broaden and enhance the range of solutions for our enterprise customers who are making the transition to IP networking," said Ronald E. Spears, AT&T's group president of Global Business Services, in a statement. "The IP-collaboration solutions offered by Interwise will help customers increase the impact of their efforts by allowing employees to work on joint projects simultaneously with colleagues and partners [and] share information regardless of their location or device."

The Interwise Connect system integrates VoIP- and TDM-based audio in a system that Interwise notes substantially reduces costs, particularly for large enterprises. The system has various applications ranging from unlimited voice conferences and Web meetings to Web seminars and Webcasts. Recordings can be established for tens of thousands of employees at a time.

AT&T said that it expects to retain the Interwise management team, which is headed by Frank Zvi, co-founder, president, and CEO of Interwise. The company's domestic and international operations also are expected to be retained, AT&T said. Interwise is based in Cambridge, Mass., and maintains its R&D center in Israel.

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