Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Chicago based Parlano which sells MindAlign, an application for enterprise group chat. The plan is to add Parlano’s group chat functionality as a new feature of Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Office Communicator. More specifics:
Founded in 2000, Parlano offers group chat technology that enables people to carry on topic-specific, multiparty instant messaging discussions that persist over time. Parlano’s software is used by companies in a variety of industries, including financial services, call centers and technology, to conduct ongoing business-critical conversations.
Because Microsoft’s unified communications technologies are based on standards and open protocols, Parlano has been able to create its technology architecture from the ground up to integrate with Microsoft’s unified communications offerings. Currently, Parlano’s MindAlign application integrates with Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005 and Office Communications Server 2007.
After the deal closes, Microsoft will add the group chat functionality to Office Communications Server and Office Communicator, and plans to offer group chat as part of the standard client access license for Office Communications Server 2007 Software Assurance customers. Current Parlano customers, many of whom already use Microsoft unified communications software, will have increased access to the breadth of Microsoft unified communications software.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not announced. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007. Following the closing of the acquisition, members of the Parlano team are expected to join the Unified Communications Group at Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus.
It’s hard to believe that there’s a chat technology that Microsoft hasn’t explored internally, but apparently Parlano found a novel, worthwhile niche.