Microsoft has agreed to acquire Chicago-based Parlano, maker of MindAlign, an application for enterprise group chat. Microsoft expects to add Parlano’s group chat functionality as a new feature of Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator, Microsoft’s server and client software for presence, instant messaging, conferencing and VoIP.
“Parlano has been successful in meeting the rigorous communications needs of companies in financial services and other vertical markets,” said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president 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.”
Founded in 2000, Parlano offers group chat technology that enables people to carry on topic-specific, multiparty instant messaging discussions that persist over time. Parlano’s software is used by companies in a variety of industries, including financial services, call centers and technology, to conduct ongoing business-critical conversations.
“Parlano has helped many organizations enhance operations, improve service delivery and increase sales through more effective ongoing group communication, collaboration and knowledge sharing,” said Nick Fera, chairman and chief executive officer of Parlano. “The resulting competitive advantage will be further enhanced as we bring Parlano technology together with Microsoft Office Communications Server and Office Communicator.”
Because Microsoft’s unified communications technologies are based on standards and open protocols, Parlano has been able to create its technology architecture from the ground up to integrate with Microsoft’s unified communications offerings. Currently, Parlano’s MindAlign application integrates with Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and Office Communications Server 2007.
After the deal closes, Microsoft will add the group chat functionality to Office Communications Server and Office Communicator and plans to offer group chat as part of the standard client access license for Office Communications Server 2007 Software Assurance customers. Current Parlano customers, many of whom already use Microsoft unified communications software, will have increased access to the breadth of Microsoft unified communications software.