Microsoft announced the acquisition of Parlano, maker of MindAlign, a group chat collaboration service. MindAlign makes it easy for groups of people to form around a topic, discuss it in real time chat (IM), and save the discussion for future reference. Stock market traders use MindAlign to share fast moving market information with their colleagues and quickly form trading strategies. ComputerWorld says;
The application is used by large financial services companies, including Deutsche Bank and UBS, so employees in major cities around the world such as Paris, London, Tokyo and New York can keep track of chat discussions on specific topics that may have occurred even when they were not in the office.
The Emerging Business Team has been working with Parlano for three years to establish a strong Microsoft partnership. First with introductions to the Microsoft Office product groups, and later by including Parlano in marketing campaigns, trade shows, product demos, and partner success stories.
Parlano is another good example of a partner relationship building over time and culminating in an aquisition. Many Microsoft acquisitions start out as partner relationships. Most of you know I worked at Groove Networks (collaboration) where we had a long partner relationship with Microsoft, that again resulted in a mutually benefical acquisition. Onfolio (web research) and Softricity (virtualization) are other examples from the Boston area.