Update: IBM has agreed to license bandwidth management software from Avistar Communications to give its Lotus Sametime VOIP, instant messaging and Web conferencing software an infusion of life.
The news, announced out of the Interop New York show Sept. 16, highlights IBM's dedication to its UCC (unified communications and collaboration) software and strategy.
UCC rolls applications such as instant messaging, VOIP, video conferencing, Web conferencing, telephony, e-mail and even business applications into one. IBM last March vowed to invest $1 billion into UCC over the next three years; today's deal with Avistar is clearly part of that plan, though financial terms were not disclosed.
Avistar makes C3 video conferencing technology, which lets users initiate video communications across and outside the enterprise with one click. C3 also features bandwidth management, which includes software tools and algorithms that control and manage bandwidth used by UCC and distributed applications.
C3 makes automatic adjustments to support connections with external VOIP services, video within Web-based instant messaging clients, room-based video conferencing systems and high-definition telepresence environments.
These session management utilities will ensure that IBM Lotus Sametime provides a quality user experience without compromising performance or causing IBM customers to acquire additional networking infrastructure to support their UCC needs.
Interestingly, IBM chose Avistar for bandwidth management over providers such as Polycom, Tandberg ASA, Radvision, Emblaze-VCON, Cisco Systems, Avaya, and Nortel Networks. I would have thought that IBM would have tabbed Nortel first, because the two are deeply partnered in UCC, then Cisco second.
IBM and Cisco have partnered on many levels, including autonomic computing, storage networking and other networking standards, for years.
However, Bruce Morse, vice president of unified communications and collaboration, IBM Lotus, summed up why IBM chose Avistar in a press release, noting that IBM was impressed how well Avistar C3 works with other applications.
Translation: We could get Avistar C3 to work with Lotus Sametime, but the others apps we tested wouldn't play so nice.
IBM Lotus has a heavy presence at Interop this week. Bob Picciano, promoted to general manager, Lotus software and WebSphere portal in April, will discuss Web 2.0, mashups and other collaboration trends for the enterprise in a keynote session at Interop on Sept. 17.
Picciano will also announce important news from IBM in the Web 2.0 vein, but you'll have to check back to eweek.com at midnight EDT tonight to see what that will be.