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Novell Boosts Unified Communications With SiteScape Buy

With deal, Novell is looking to leverage open source unified communicaitons in the enterprise.

open source communications

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

SiteScape, which founded the open source collaboration project, ICEcore, brings new, real-time collaboration capabilities to Novell, the two companies said.

"The melding of the two firms creates the industry's clear leader in open, enterprise-strength collaboration and social networking offerings, giving customers powerful, flexible ways to integrate new communications technologies into their environment and drive employee productivity and business innovation," Novell said in a statement.

The acquisition stems from advances in Web 2.0 technologies driving new opportunities for unified communications and collaboration in both the enterprise and SMB spaces. Companies are looking to combine real-time messaging, conferencing and IP telephony and tie them into online workspaces, social networking, blog and wikis to boost productivity and innovation.

SiteScape, which was founded in 1995, offers solutions for communication and management for distributed teams. SiteScape said its Web-based solutions support knowledge management, project management, communities of practice, telework and business continuity.

Last year, Novell partnered with SiteScape to add its collaboration portfolio with Novell Teaming + Conferencing, a real-time conferencing solution based on ICEcore open source technology. The solution runs on both Linux and Windows and works with Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange, in addition to Novell's GroupWise. The team workspaces, accessible by members both inside and outside the company, bring together collaboration tools like blogs, wikis, instant messaging, chat, VoIP and Web conferencing for unified communications.

Novell's purchase of SiteScape will build on that partnership, Novell said.

Solutions providers said the merger will benefit their customers, especially as they continue to focus on collaboration among scattered workforces.

"Our major SiteScape customers are serious about leveraging Web 2.0 and enterprise social networking technologies to the fullest to boost productivity and innovation coming out of their teams," said Axel Amelung, managing director of collaboration, a European solution provider. "Combining SiteScape's leading technology with Novell's commitment and long-time focus on collaboration will yield even more business-focused innovations. The merger will also extend Novell's enterprise-class reputation and partner programs to help support our sales and service operations."

In a statement, Novell president and CEO Ron Hovsepian said the acquisition builds on Novell's open enterprise strategy to promote open source initiatives in the enterprise. He said it's an aggressive move to offer an open option to enable cross-platform integration across Linux or Windows without the fear of vendor lock-in.

Andy Fox, SiteScape's CTO agreed, adding that partnering with Novell before the acquisition helped SiteScape broaden its reach and expand its technology.

"With the merger, SiteScape customers gain a strong new partner supporting their deployments, enhancing the technology and helping them meet their rapidly evolving collaboration needs."

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