Manged email security vendor MessageLabs Ltd looks set to push into the instant message security services space with an offer to acquire Omnipod Inc, a 35-strong privately held provider of enterprise IM services based in New York.
The IM specialist offers enterprise customers a branded IM client for real-time IM and provides a secure, managed and policy-controlled channel that opens up for safe communications across with the public IM networks of AOL, Yahoo and MSN.
Omnipod’s client-side software lets people inside and outside an organization use IM without having to use a screen name provided by the popular public services, and the company sells various hosted services in support of IM use. The Professional Online Desktop client software also supports applications such as Webex conferencing and integrates with sales force applications.
The company, which claims to have 200 US enterprises as clients and some multi-national users, has offices and a datacenter in New York, and outposts in Toronto and Idaho.
It has a pretty good product, has a sole focus on enterprise customers and concentrates on building IM communities within organizations with secure access to public services, Brian Czarny, VP for MessageLabs in the US said.
Czarny added the deal is pending board approval, but is expected to close in just a couple of weeks should it get the go ahead. Going forward he said that the intention was to incorporate IM services and IM IP into the broader MessageLabs portfolio and initially to upsell the IM service line into the existing MessageLabs customer base.
Ultimately we want to build out the service, so that it will be client-independent, working as a proxy-based client to provide the same levels of messaging hygiene we have achieved with email, he said.
Founded in 1999, Omnipod’s investors include Lexington Ventures. Financial details of the cash and stock offer have not been revealed.
MessageLabs reported revenue of $67 million for its financial year ending in July 2005. In October, the Gloucester, UK-based launched a new Web filtering service, offering a $7 per-seat, per-month subscription for a combination of anti-virus, URL and anti-spyware filtering. Augmenting its messaging services with IM security will help put the company ahead of the pack in an increasingly competitive field.