Microsoft has agreed to acquire Parlano, a Chicago-based provider of instant messaging technology, for an undisclosed sum.
Parlano's MindAlign enterprise instant messaging platform is used by a number of Tier 1 banks including UBS, ANZ Bank, ABN Amro, Standard Chartered Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland. The business collaboration tool is also used by companies in the call centre and technology industries.
The MindAlign application was originally created by developers at UBS Warburg in 1995. UBS later spun off the unit as a separate company and sold a 75% interest to Divine Inc in 2000. In September 2001 Divine purchased a further 21% equity interest, taking its stake in the company to 96%.
However after Divine filed for bankruptcy in 2003 the technology was acquired by venture firms Golden Gate Capital and Oak Investment Partners for an undisclosed amount.
Microsoft says following the acquisition it will add Parlano's group chat functionality as a new feature of its Office Communications Server and Office Communicator products. Microsoft also plans to offer group chat as part of the standard client access licence for Office Communications Server 2007 Software Assurance customers.
"Parlano has been successful in meeting the rigorous communications needs of companies in financial services and other vertical markets," says Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate VP of the unified communications group at Microsoft. "Parlano's expertise and technology, added to Microsoft's unified communications offering, will deliver customers the most complete presence, instant messaging and group chat solution on the market."
The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Following the closing of the deal, members of the Parlano team are expected to join Microsoft's unified communications group.