Cisco Systems will spend $31 million to buy privately-held Orative Corp. Cisco intends to use Orative software to extend its Unified Communications portfolio to mobile devices such as cell phones and smartphones.
The problem Orative attempts to solve is how to let one employee know which co-workers are available for phone calls; the aim is to alleviate the time wasted playing voice-mail tag. Orative software loaded onto mobile phones allows workers to tap into corporate calendars and planners to determine whether a colleague is available.
With Orative Enterprise Software, the company says, mobile phone users can coordinate conversations, collaborate with colleagues, view information on Unity voicemail messages, screen unwanted telephone calls and interruptions, and securely access personal and corporate phone books.
In March 2006, Cisco announced its Unified Communications system based on the company's service-oriented network architecture (SONA), which enables businesses of all sizes to integrate their communications systems with their IT infrastructure.