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RIM Acquires Ascendent Systems

Research In Motion Ltd. has acquired voice mobility vendor Ascendent Systems for an undisclosed amount.

Though now a wholly owned RIM subsidiary, Ascendent will continue operating as a separate entity, keeping its branding, partnerships and dealer programs intact.

Debbie Miller, former CEO at Ascendent Systems and vice president at RIM, said Ascendents VARs and resellers likely will be offered an updated contract, but that all else will be status quo.

The deal will provide for several synergies. RIM channel partners now will be able to offer Ascendent product, and vice versa. Also, Ascendents push voice capabilities mirror RIM BlackBerrys data-centric mobile push e-mail service, and the union will provide opportunities for feature integration and bundling. Miller said efforts already are underway to integrate the two applications suites. Our CTO recognizes that his toy box has suddenly gotten much bigger, she said.

The Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite is standards-based software that extends corporate desk phone functionality to remote users on their wireless handsets or wireline phones. The solution works across legacy PBX and IP PBX systems, and offers single-number reach, consolidation and access to one voice mail box, and extends desk phone functionality such as PBX dial tone, call transfer and hold, four- or five- digit dialing and conference calling capabilities to mobile users. The solution also is SIP-enabled for VoIP and supports BlackBerry WLAN deployments.

Putting our voice capabilities and RIMs data capabilities on one device is very compelling, said Miller, adding that about 50 percent of Ascendent customers already use BlackBerries. Now you truly have your entire office with you.

Research in Motion Ltd. www.rim.com
Ascendent Systems www.ascendentsystems.com


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