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PictureTel, FVC and CUseeMe Announce Alliance

PictureTel, First Virtual Communications and CuseeMe, three of the top videoconferencing companies, announced an agreement for a technology and marketing alliance.

The companies hope to combine their audio, video, Web collaboration, server, multipoint server and client technologies to create a scalable communications solution for customers.

Specific financial terms were not disclosed. However, PictureTel (www.picturetel.com) will receive warrants of up to 15 percent of First Virtual Communications' current stock, exercisable upon PictureTel's achievement of specified milestones.

"Today's announcement underscores our commitment to deliver a full spectrum of multimedia collaboration solutions incorporating iPower," states Dr. Norman Gaut, PictureTel's chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "This partnership will result in the first true fully integrated, end-to-end solution that will simplify the implementation, management, and utilization of rich media collaboration capabilities at the enterprise level. Importantly, we will take advantage of the combined strength of our global direct and multi-level distribution channels to significantly expand our delivery of these industry leading products."

Under the agreement, PictureTel will provide engineering personnel and a license for its PurePoint rich media communications solution to First Virtual Communications (www.fvc.com), which will integrate its features into First Virtual Communication's Click To Meet platform.

In addition, the companies will cross-license their technologies, including iPower and the CUseeMe Networks' software video client, for integration into each party's products.

"Our mission is to change the way people communicate. This is no simple task. Each of our three companies has approached the challenge with a different set of capabilities. Only by combining our efforts will we accelerate the delivery of a solution that our customers require to make collaboration seamless and simple," states Ralph Ungermann, chairman of the board and chief executive officer, First Virtual Communications.

In March, FVC announced it was merging with videoconferencing company CuSeeMe Networks (www.cuseeme.com).

Killko Caballero, chairman, CEO, and president of CUseeMe Networks said that companies are looking to figure out how to make best use of their resources to achieve competitive advantage. "We believe there is no question that these collaboration tools will be a business necessity," he said. "Working together, our companies are well positioned to take advantage of this growing market."

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