IBM puts $1bn into unified communications

IBM puts $1bn into unified communications

IT giant looks to compete with Microsoft Office Communications Server

IBM has pledged to invest $1bn (£497m) in boost its unified communications and collaboration (UCC) strategy over the next three years.

The funds have been earmarked for internal development and the acquisition of as-yet unnamed specialist communications and collaboration hardware and software companies.

The supplier's UCC strategy will combine software such as email and instant messaging (IM) with voice over IP (VoIP) to deliver a complete communications platform for PCs, laptops and other mobile devices.

IBM will compete with Microsoft, which launched Office Communications Server 2007 late last year, as well as unified communications products from networking specialists such as Cisco, Avaya and Nortel.