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IBM Makes $1B Commitment to Unified Communications

Big Blue is making a big investment in the big area of unified communications, to the tune of more than $1 billion during the next three years.The money will be spent on product development and on building out IBM's related consulting service offerings. The company also plans to figure out ways to better leverage its Sametime instant messaging and Lotus collaboration suite. Although it's aiming its efforts mostly at large businesses -- where purchases and margins are larger, according to Steve Mills, SVP of IBM's software group -- small and midsize businesses, in general, can clearly benefit from the increase in collaboration that unified communications delivers.

IBM's announcement comes nearly five months after Microsoft revealed its own unified communications plans.CNET News