Sun Microsystems has started working with Premiere Technologies to develop unified messaging services for the Internet Service Provider (ISP) marketplace.
Sun will contribute its ecommerce and messaging software to the relationship, while Premiere will add email support to its voicemail and fax messaging software. This will enable customers to access all three services from either their PC, telephone or handheld devices.
The resultant Sun hardware and joint software bundles will be sold by the Sun-Netscape Alliance, which is merging both companies' Internet software into a single product line to try and take on IBM and Microsoft in the ecommerce space (see VNU Newswire 31 March, 1999).
Mark Tolliver, president and general manager of the Sun-Netscape Alliance, said: "We're working as part of the Sun-Netscape Alliance and in future these will be Alliance products. A universal inbox as part of your own personalised portal is a very powerful concept. It will move the Internet beyond PC users to handheld users, which will be the next breakthrough. The rise of people using the Internet as their personal inbox is a very strong possibility."
Until now, Premiere has sold calling cards to about 800 million users across the world under its Worldlink brand to enable them to access fax and phone messages using a 1-800 number. It will now introduce its new Internet based services under the Orchestrate.com brand, however, and estimates that the market for unified messaging will be worth $31 billion by 2006.
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