CAMBRIDGE, Mass - 19 May 1998: -- IBM's Lotus Development Corp., today announced the signing of purchase agreements with DataBeam Corp. and Ubique Ltd., privately-held leaders in real-time communications software. Under the terms of the agreements, the companies will be acquired by IBM and will become part of Lotus' Communications Products Division. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed. Finalization of the agreement with Ubique is subject to regulatory approvals.
Lotus plans to bring a real-time dimension to e-mail and collaboration in businesses of all sizes via intranets and the Internet. Lotus will base this work on its Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino software products and the technologies and expertise of the acquired companies. These efforts will also be supported by joint work with industry partners, such as America Online (AOL). AOL is one of the investors from which Ubique will be purchased. Lotus will begin delivering products and solutions associated with this strategy later this year.
"Lotus pioneered the product categories of groupware and collaboration, historically based on asynchronous technologies such as e-mail, discussion databases and workflow based applications," said Michael D. Zisman, Lotus' executive vice president of strategy and vice president of strategy for IBM'sSoftware Group. "We will build on our leadership by adding a portfolio of real-time capability, comprising application and data sharing from DataBeam and interaction tools such as chat, buddy and instant messaging from Ubique. We are now uniquely positioned to provide, in a single infrastructure, a complete collaboration environment that encompasses traditional asynchronous capabilities and these emerging real-time tools.
"This dramatically expands the range of collaborative applications that can be built from within the Domino application development environment, from traditional e-mail and workflow to IP Telephony and real-time distance learning applications."
DataBeam, located in Lexington, Ky., develops and markets leading-edge, real-time conferencing and distance learning servers based on the T.120 international standard. The DataBeam conferencing server enables users equipped with T.120 clients, including Microsoft's NetMeeting, or Web browsers to share data and applications in an online, controlled and scalable conference setting. The DataBeam real-time Learning Server provides synchronous distance learning capability and, in combination with Lotus' existing asynchronous LearningSpace solution, will extend Lotus' leadership position in the emerging online learning area.
DataBeam has led a number of key international standards initiatives to ensure that real-time technology can be applied widely and interoperably across the Internet. Today, DataBeam is the leading provider of conferencing technology based on the International Telecommunications Union's T.120 and H.323 standards and the developer of the award-winning neT.120 Conference Server software product. The neT.120 conference server allows users of standard Web browsers and T.120 clients such as Microsoft's NetMeeting and DataBeam's own FarSite client to share documents in real-time, brainstorm ideas, and deliver presentations and product demonstrations to people in remote locations.
Ubique, headquartered in Rehovot, Israel, developed patented technology in the area of document-based awareness, which allows users to be aware of which other users in an online environment are working in the same "virtual place" (e.g., same Web page). Ubique's current "Virtual Places" server provides an infrastructure for developing and deploying real-time collaboration applications. Ubique used this server capability to develop its own chat, buddy and instant messaging products. Ubique has been actively involved in the IETF standards setting process for real-time applications.
Based on an ongoing relationship between Lotus and America Online (AOL), Lotus outlined plans in a separate announcement today to provide Notes and AOL customers the ability to communicate in real-time based on Lotus, Ubique and AOL technologies. As announced previously, Notes users will be able to access AOL e-mail and to access Notes remotely through the AOL Enterprise system.
The technologies of DataBeam and Ubique are widely recognized in the information and telecommunications industries and have been licensed by providers including, Excite, Lucent, MCI, Microsoft, and ZDNet. DataBeam was founded in 1983 by Dr. Lee Todd, the company's president, and has approximately 110 employees. Ubique was founded in 1994 by Udi Shapiro on the Weizmann Institute of Science campus and employs 35 people.
Both DataBeam and Ubique will maintain their current locations and staffs. Upon completion of the transactions, Lee Todd, president of DataBeam and Avner Shafrir, president and COO of Ubique, will report into Lotus' Communications Products Division, headed by Eileen Rudden, senior vice president. Prof. Udi Shapiro will consult for Lotus on its real-time development projects.
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source