AT&T's Interwise Buy Could Be Its Ticket To Unified Communications - InformationWeek
Software // Enterprise Applications
04:44 PM

AT&T's Interwise Buy Could Be Its Ticket To Unified Communications

The acquisition gives AT&T a strong portfolio of voice, Web, and videoconferencing services to compete with Cisco and Microsoft.

AT&T's planned acquisition of conferencing provider Interwise is expected to improve the carrier's IP networking offerings for business customers and may help it compete in the unified communications space with Cisco and Microsoft.

AT&T this week said it will acquire Interwise for $121 million in cash -- a move that gives AT&T a strong portfolio of voice, Web, and videoconferencing services. Interwise will be operated as a business unit of AT&T's enterprise division, led by Ronald Spears.

AT&T currently offers enterprise networking, communications, and collaboration services, as well as a conferencing portfolio of services. The carrier operates an IP network based on Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), a technology that improves the speed of packet processing and enhances performance of the network.

Together with Interwise, AT&T plans to more quickly develop and bring to market capabilities to address the evolving collaboration needs of businesses, said an AT&T spokesman. These capabilities include integrated voice, Web, and video services, delivered by a single vendor.

The spokesman said it's too soon to discuss specific products since the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, but Interwise's platform will likely be used by AT&T to bolster its unified communications offerings.

Unified communications is an emerging technology that links business processes with presence information, e-mail, voice mail, instant messaging, and videoconferencing to facilitate efficient communications.

"I suspect AT&T will join the ever growing number of [unified communications] vendors and will center their solution around conferencing," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at Yankee Group. "Cisco has WebEx. Microsoft has LiveMeeting. AT&T will have Interwise and it's a good move for AT&T."

If AT&T can deliver an integrated unified communications product, it will succeed in an area where most telecom carriers have lagged. "They bought their way in," Kerravala said, "so their success will depend on what they do with the technology from here."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll