Startup Combines Voice, IM Communication

Tello's service aims to help workers keep track of each other even if they subscribe to different voice and instant messaging services.

Tello says it wants to be the single point of contact for businesses.

The startup emerged on Jan. 23 with a software and service bundle designed to connect businesspeople, regardless of their location or connection, by aggregating wired, wireless and even VOIP (voice over IP) phones, with handhelds and instant messaging services.

Tello, established in 2004 and run by several technology industry veterans, says it will make its mark by consolidating the myriad methods people use to communicate into one using an application—located on a PC or a Research In Motion Ltd. BlackBerry, or accessed via a Web browser—with a back-end service that allows users to maintain a contact list that can quickly determine the availability of their colleagues and then help reach them.

The company will offer its communications package in two versions at first.

One, Tello Basic, will work for individuals. The second, called Tello Enterprise, is designed for businesses, according to the company.

Tello Basic is a free service that allows individuals to create contact lists and then connect with others also on the service, sending instant messages across different networks, for example.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read about Googles IM service with VOIP.

Tello Enterprise was created to help businesses connect to partners and customers by connecting their internal and external IM systems, voice networks—it can link to IP-PBXes or VOIP systems—and collaboration software, according to the company.

The Tello Desktop and Tello Mobile applications, for Windows PCs and RIM BlackBerrys, are serviced by Tello Connect. Tello Connect works as a go-between for different communications networks and thus allows for their aggregation in the applications and the ability for users to contact each other, despite subscribing to different services.

Meanwhile, Tello has been working with third parties such as Cisco Systems and IBM to ensure that its Tello Enterprise service works with their various offerings, company officials said.

The company did not list pricing for its Tello Enterprise service.

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