In a move aimed at broadening its unified communications reach, Microsoft announced Thursday it has agreed to purchase enterprise chat vendor Parlano.
The seven-year old Chicago-based company is the developer of MindAlign which "enables people to carry on topic-specific, multiparty instant messaging discussions that persist over time," according to a Microsoft statement.
Microsoft says it's going to incorporate MindAlign into Office Communications Server and Office Communicator. Parlano is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner.
The move adds one more important piece to Microsoft's "unified communications" initiative. Both Office Communications Server and Communicator already support instant messaging, conferencing and voice over IP communications.
MindAlign works with Microsoft's SharePoint technologies for document management. It also provides "secure federated instant messaging between MindAlign, Microsoft Communicator users, and users of all three major public Instant Messaging networks, including, AOL AIM, Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger," according to statements on Parlano's Website.
MindAlign can also use automated "bots" to "push news, customer events, and any other information from inside or outside [the] company into the appropriate channels using," the statements continue. Microsoft said it plans to "offer group chat as part of the standard client access license for Office Communications Server 2007 Software Assurance customers."
The software giant is bullish on the technology acquisition's potential in combination with Microsoft's own objectives, noting Parlano has already had success in financial and other vertical markets. "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," said Gurdeep Singh Pall, corporate vice president of the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft.
The acquisition is expected to be final by the end of the year.
This article was originally published on internetnews.com.