RealTime IT News

Wired, Wireless Software Firms Fuse

Wireless software maker Phone.com Inc. and wireline application firm Software.com Inc. Wednesday merged to create a unified IP-based powerhouse.

The all-stock amalgamation is estimated to be worth $6.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to standard investor and regulatory approvals.

The merged communications company tapped Donald Listwin, former Cisco Systems Inc. former executive vice president to steer the super-software hybrid. He is a tenured player in the field having led service provider and consumer lines of business for Cisco .

Phone.com's former chief and chairman, Alain Rossmann, will take on executive vice president and chairman duties for the merged firm, while Software.com's former chief executive, John MacFarlane, is set to serve as a second executive vice president of the combined company.

Listwin said he is ecstatic about joining forces with Rossmann and MacFarlane to lead the combined software venture.

"This strategic merger brings together two dynamic and innovative companies with tremendous track records for providing reliable, highly-scalable infrastructure software to communication providers worldwide," Listwin said.

"Together, Phone.com and Software.com create a powerfully positioned global software company poised to benefit from the unification of service offerings by IP-based communications service providers," Listwin added.

The merged company intends to a premier provider of highly scalable infrastructure and application software designed to enabling the delivery of e-mail, voicemail, unified messaging, directory and wireless Internet access for IP-based networks.

The combined company expects to make the most of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities through its existing relationships with more than 140 major communications service providers worldwide.

The hybrid software firm intends to provide a broad range of carrier-class software set to target wireless and wireline carriers, portals and Internet service providers.

MacFarlane said the companies have highly complementary customers, product lines and business models, can provide a unified platform to operate seamlessly across all IP standards.

"Our customers will benefit from the combined company's IP-based infrastructure, unified platform and its unparalleled ability to operate across all standards," MacFarlane said.

The combined customer base of the two firms includes industry heavyweights like AT&T Corp., British Telecom, Excite@Home, among others.

Rossmann said the merged company will be strongly positioned to capitalize on the explosive growth of the wireless Internet.

British Telecom is one of the global communications firms that are leading the charge for unified services. Kent Thexton, BT Global Mobile Internet president, said the combined company is uniquely positioned to provide the products, applications and services to capture the new market segment.

"We do business with each of these companies today." Thexton said. We look forward to working with the merged company to build the future of communication services."

The merged software and IP-infrastructure company remains nameless at this time, but it is set to be headquartered in Redwood City, California.