RIM in Voice 'Push'

BlackBerry says it has bought Ascendent Systems , a move the handheld device vendor says will give it the capability to "push" voice calls from users' corporate desk phones to their wireless -- or other wireline -- devices.

The acquisition comes as RIM introduces new software that will connect users of its Blackberry device to corporate instant messaging applications and allow network administrators to manage larger deployments of the popular wireless email device.

Ascendent, which had already partnered with RIM, makes the Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite, software designed to work with PBX and IP-PBX systems to transfer a user's call to whatever device he or she happens to be on.

RIM's move to improve its voice capabilities comes hard on the heels of the introduction of the first devices to support push email capabilites from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). Push email has long been considered RIM's trump card in the mobile messaging market, so it's no surprise that the Canadian vendor should seek to upgrade its push capabilities now that larger competitors are nipping at its heels.

There's no word yet on when the Ascendent capabilities will be integrated with the RIM server software. RIM's software updates to its Blackberry enterprise and small business server, however, are available now.

The firms have not disclosed the value of the acquisition.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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