IPC Information Systems has acquired a controlling interest in UK-based Voice over IP communications outfit Purple Voice Holdings Limited.
Under the terms of the deal, IPC also becomes the exclusive global reseller of Purple Voice software solutions. These use existing corporate networks to extend Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications beyond the trading floor to standard PCs.
The move follows the recent scrapping of a relationship between Purple Voice and Syntegra, originally sealed in June 2001, under which Purple Voice's software was bundled with Syntegra's ITS voice trading application to provide off-floor IP-based communication to customers in the US and UK. At the time, the deal was described by Syntegra as a "key part" of its off-floor sales strategy.
Syntegra's marketing manager for trading systems, Judith Dixon, says the firm is unconcerned by IPC's agreement with Purple Voice. "Things have moved on since 2001," she says. "Take up for Purple Voice has not been as significant as anticipated. We remain firmly committed to responding to our customers' requests to work with best-of-breed alliance partners."
She says that Syntegra will continue to offer similar functionality to that provided by Purple Voice through its existing relationship with Speakerbus.
Integrated with IPC's Alliance MX switch, Purple Voice's software will provide users such as researchers, analysts, and retail brokers who are based off the main trading floor with access to audio broadcasts, intercom calls, group calls and hoots regardless of the user's location.
Don Bell, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development at IPC, says: "A retail broker in Milwaukee, for example, can now connect directly to morning calls, analysts and other trade participants using the company's data network, and can establish those communications as easily as joining a chat group."
A spin-off from Thorn EMI's research labs, Purple Voice has raised funding from venture capitalists Scipher, NewMedia Spark, Springboard and Think Ventures. Terms of the IPC deal were not diclosed.