Ezenia! acquiring federal channel

Ezenia! Inc.'s purchase of InfoWorkSpace, a unit of General Dynamics Electronic Systems, will boost sales of Ezenia!'s virtual collaboration tools in the federal space, an Ezenia! official said.

Ezenia!, a provider of real-time collaboration solutions, announced Tuesday it would acquire InfoWorkSpace from General Dynamics for $21 million in cash and common stock. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2001.

General Dynamics Electronic Systems, formerly part of GTE Government Systems Corp., created InfoWorkSpace five years ago specifically for the federal government with the intention of spinning it off to a partner for use in the commercial market, said Arthur Souza, vice president of worldwide marketing at Ezenia!.

InfoWorkSpace provides knowledge workers with a secure virtual workspace for project and team collaboration — it allows users to meet in virtual rooms where they can work in real time using instant messaging, whiteboarding, screen sharing and text-based chat.

"This helps us in a couple of different ways because it closes the ties with General Dynamics," Souza said. "We hope they will be selling a lot more of our core Encounter product. And we'll take [InfoWorkSpace] to the commercial market."

As part of the deal, Ezenia! will acquire the InfoWorkSpace product line and employ the management team and core group of developers. General Dynamics will be a preferred integrator and reseller of Ezenia! products in the federal market, which will allow it to continue working with its current customers.

"The key thing for us now is digesting InfoWorkSpace, integrating it with our product line and figuring out when to move to the commercial market," Souza said. InfoWorkSpace will add about 50 employees to Ezenia!'s 175-person workforce.

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