Google (s GOOG) is rumored to have bought Gizmo5, provider of a SIP-based service, for an undisclosed amount of money, according to a report on TechCrunch. If true, the deal would add another arrow to Google’s quiver as it takes on incumbents Microsoft (s MSFT) and Cisco Systems (s CSCO) in the hotly contested collaboration market. While it does have Google Voice, the search engine giant lacks a truly enterprise-quality VoIP offering.
Given that most of Google’s customers are also likely Skype users (aka web workers), it makes perfect sense for it to buy Gizmo5. The San Diego-based company recently developed OpenSky, a gateway that allows you to call Skype from any VoIP-based phone/application. As founder Michael Robertson told us at the time:
What we’ve done is create a SIP alias for every Skype user. So if you want to call a Skype user named echo123 you simply dial email@example.com from any SIP-aware device (which is just about every piece of VOIP equipment). Users can even have any SIP call forwarded to their Skype address using my.gizmo5.com.
This application could come in handy for Google to capture some of the Skype magic as it tries to expand into the enterprise and increase its collaboration offerings. Gizmo5 could also help Google extend its reach on mobiles and bring much-needed expertise for soft clients for voice calls.
Gizmo5 says it has 6 million users; that number is unverified. If the deal is indeed true, Robertson, who been desperately looking for an encore since his first company, MP3.com, must be thrilled. Gizmo5 has raised closed to $20 million, a majority of it coming from Robertson.
P.S.: I want to apologize to readers for writing the original post outlining that Skype had bought Gizmo5. I guess the rumors of Skype buying Gizmo5 were still swirling in my head.