The investment, bringing an undisclosed amount of equity
in TelePost, potentially broadens Freeserve’s business which
has recently been coming under increasing scrutiny because
of its reliance on the UK’s turbulent domestic Internet industry.
“The unified messaging market is set to grow exponentially as
consumers demand a solution that simplifies and manages the
retrieval of their messages from a growing variety of sources,”
said John Pluthero, chief executive officer of Freeserve.
“Through TelePost, Freeserve is participating in the development
of the nascent UMS market both in the United States and the
TelePost’s products are targeted at small businesses, enabling
users to have a single phone number for all their messaging
requirements. Users can retrieve voicemail, fax and email
messages by phone or email, make conference calls and give
PowerPoint presentations on the Internet.
As many as 25 million individuals could be using unified messaging
services in the United States by 2003, according to industry
analyst firm IDC.
“The need for our products is increasing rapidly and we believe
this investment, with our award-winning applications, will
allow us to capitalise on the growing demand for UMS and Web
communication services both in the USA and UK markets,” said
Bruce Runyan, president and chief operating officer of TelePost.
Freeserve is expected to launch a free UMS product in the UK
shortly, via Telserve, which will give users a single, unified
mailbox with no monthly subscription.