Comverse to Acquire Odigo

Comverse Technology Inc.’s Comverse multimedia enhanced communications services division is adding multimodal capabilities to its portfolio by signing on the dotted line for wireless IM/presence provider Odigo Inc. of New York City to the tune of $20 million.

Odigo’s products include IM servers, SMS-IM gateways, and presence management solutions. Woodbury, N.Y.-based Comverse’s services systems and software enable wireless carriers to use value-added — and revenue generating — services like 2.5G/3G multimedia messaging (MMS), wireless IM, wireless data and Internet-based services and IP-based unified messaging (voice, fax, and e-mail in a single mailbox), among others.

Comverse will use the Odigo IM server and presence-management engine to offer a multimodal end-to-end solution that will include both messaging and voice services (voice chat, voice conferencing, etc.). The new service will provide the ability to switch among modalities.

The term “multimodal” refers to a system that supports communications through different modalities such as voice and text.

The combining of products means that end-users now can manage their communications needs as well as initiate one-to-one and group instant communications across a wide array of devices and platforms, including SMS, MMS, WAP, Windows, Windows CE, Web, J2ME, BREW, Palm, Blackberry, iMode and Symbian.

“The integration of Odigo’s instant messaging server and presence management engine with Comverse’s messaging solutions, such as voicemail, e-mail, unified messaging and MMS, has strengthened our total messaging suite,” said Zeev Bregman, chief executive officer (CEO) of Comverse.

“The field-proven Odigo instant messaging service, which serves millions of subscribers, enables Comverse to expand its offering to include both in-network and outsourced instant communications solutions,” said Odigo CEO Howard Woolf.

The acquisition is subject the usual closing conditions. Prior the buyout, Comverse Technology held about 12.4% of Odigo — a position Comverse had acquired for $3 million.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.

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