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Software startup wins BT voice streaming deal

eyeP Media's software enables calls from the PC over the Internet (eutectics inc) swissinfo.ch

Yverdon-based eyeP Media SA has landed British Telecommunications plc as a customer.

This content was published on May 13, 2004 - 14:08

Its voice streaming software is to be used to enable phone calls over the Internet for BT Communicator subscribers.

BT Communicator is an instant messaging and chat service that Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo! developed for British Telecommunications.

The integrated product offers PC-to-phone calling, Internet call waiting and directory lookup, bundled with instant messaging features.

eyeP Media's voice streaming software enables the voice part of the service.

"We're very excited. This is the first time that a major Internet company and an established telecommunications operator have joined forces to build an integrated call management offering for mainstream consumers, and we are providing key components of the system," said Peter Schmid, CEO of Swiss-based eyeP Media.

Yahoo! and BT plan to embark on a significant joint marketing effort to support the new offering, and have announced that they will make BT Communicator a part of all Yahoo! Messenger clients distributed in the UK via the Yahoo! network and a wide variety of BT channels.

"We have demonstrated our ability to match our expertise in voice and video streaming with the strengths of major players developing a fast-growing new business. This is a key milestone for us, and we are committed to expanding our leading position in this market," said Schmid.

According to one of the company's investors, Phillip Mauron, of Endeavour Ventures, a $70 million venture capital fund manager based in Geneva, it is not always easy for a startup company to win a major account like this because blue chip customers want to be sure that their strategic technology suppliers are going to still be in business in a few years' time.

But Mauron says that eyeP Media has a strong and experienced management team, as well as investors with deep pockets, so it has a good chance for viability.

He says the young company is close to signing other similar-sized contracts in the US and Europe.

eyeP Media is headquartered in Switzerland, with sales offices and agents in the UK, US and Asia.

Customers for its software solutions include major international service providers and ISPs, application service providers and vendors, and hardware manufacturers.

by Valerie Thompson

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