RealTime IT News

RIM Makes Ascendent Buy

Research In Motion (RIM) has made an acquisition in what might be considered a positive change of pace for the maker of the popular Blackberry.

The company bought Ascendent Systems, a provider of voice mobility solutions for the enterprise. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Ascendent makes the Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite (AVMS), standards-based software that integrates 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.

RIM expects AVMS to complement its BlackBerry Enterprise offering, enabling RIM to provide customers additional wireless communications capabilities to their voice and data solution.

Potential customers include businesses with multiple locations or those in a campus environment, or organizations with a large number of mobile workers, executives, salespeople or field technicians who spend a significant amount of time away from their desks, but need to be accessible.

RIM also announced the availability of BlackBerry Enterprise Server version 4.1 and BlackBerry Enterprise Server -- Small Business Edition v4.1 for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Domino.

The company said this latest release is designed to make it easier to manage large-scale BlackBerry deployments across the enterprise.

The new BlackBerry Enterprise server also integrates with enterprise IM systems, including Microsoft Windows Messenger, Live Communications Server 2005 and Lotus Sametime.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 supports the new Mobile Data System 4.1 (MDS) application development environment, which includes BlackBerry MDS Studio, a new visual development tool for creating mobile applications based on Web services.

For months, most of the media coverage RIM received has been about its long-running patent dispute with NTP, which culminated in a $612.5 million settlement.