Reaching out to bag a chunk of the enterprise social [cough] networking market share, software mammoth Microsoft has acquired corporate group chat provider Parlano.
Chicago-based Parlano, a firm spun off from Swiss bank UBS, provides its own MindAlign application to firms to enable employees to interact with one another via group chat sessions.
The technology was first used as a tool by traders to share fast-moving market information.
For all their talk of "collaboration and knowledge sharing", the companies are keeping schtum about the price tag on the deal.
As employees look for a Web 2.0 enterprise-friendly application to prise workers away from
Facecrack Facebook, it’s hardly surprising to see Microsoft stoking up the hype for its vision of "unfied communication" in the suited and booted corporate world.
IBM and Oracle have already been foraging through the social networking jungle and emerged in the past year with business application mash-ups that offer the likes of wikis and RSS feeds.
Microsoft said it plans to add the application to its Office suite which brings together email, telephone, instant messaging and web conferencing over internet networks under one roof.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. ®