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Summary:

With the NTP-Patent Legislation overhang gone, Research In Motion, aka RIM is finally beginning to flex its muscles and play to its enterprise strengths. It just announced Google Talk for Blackberry in partnership with Google. (It apparently drops Google Talk chats right into the Blackberry Inbox.) […]

With the NTP-Patent Legislation overhang gone, Research In Motion, aka RIM is finally beginning to flex its muscles and play to its enterprise strengths. It just announced Google Talk for Blackberry in partnership with Google. (It apparently drops Google Talk chats right into the Blackberry Inbox.)

But that announcement is quite marginal compared to RIM’s acquisition of Ascendent Systems, a company that makes IP-based systems for large corporations, and can integrate tightly with existing PBX and IP-PBX telephony systems to “push” voice calls and extend desk phone functionality to mobile users on their wireless handsets, or any wireline phone. No terms were announced, but Alec Saunders thinks that it will be more than $20 million Ascendent raised from VCs.

From a Voice 2.0 perspective, this is a big deal. “Essentially, Ascendent transforms the Blackberry into a mobile desk phone, with the capability to forward, transfer, conference etc calls,” Alec says. In other words, the big boys are still talking convergence – Blackberry is doing it.

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  1. Om, i was just thinking (again) why Microsoft has such a leadership position in e-mail with Exchange. I’m not real familiar with the technology, but as a user, I don’t see Exchange as a big tie-in to Window OS or Office. In other words, why does MS continue to dominate this particular software market and enjoy position in the coming unified communications market?

    I see this area open to a very innovative communications companies with all the right stuff.

  2. Larry Borsato Thursday, March 16, 2006

    I’m not clear what the big deal is here. I worked with a little company called Redknee and they’ve had software to do this as well for some time now – Mobile Office Manager – actually in use and offered as a service by the carrier O2. And that software works with all phones, not just BlackBerrys.

    I’m sure they aren’t the only company either.

  3. Not only is Ascendent not the only company doing this, they aren’t even the best solution available.

    Traverse Networks, for example, also provides the ability to “push” voice calls to any device. In addition, Traverse enables initiation of outbound calls from a desk phone using a mobile device, and provides an email-like view of corporate voicemail. All this via a nice visual interface that’s available on any data-enabled mobile phone, BlackBerry, Treo, etc.

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