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IIJ and L is B to Enter into Capital/Business Partnership to Develop and Provide Corporate Messenger Services
TOKYO-April 27, 2015-Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ, NASDAQ: IIJI, TSE1: 3774) and L is B Corp. (L is B) today announced their plan to enter into a capital and business partnership on May 1, 2015. By this partnership, the companies hope to develop and provide next-generation corporate messenger services in private cloud environments.
Capital/Business Partnership Background
IIJ launched the cloud service IIJ GIO Service in 2009, and currently offers a wide variety of system platforms ranging from public cloud services to corporate private cloud environments. IIJ GIO is a highly-qualified cloud service that is also extremely flexible. The service has become increasingly popular for private cloud applications such as ERP, and as of the end of 2014 was being used by over 1,200 companies.
Meanwhile, with business use of smartphones and tablets continuing to gather speed, L is B has been offering its "direct" corporate messenger service since 2014. Although messenger services (such as LINE and Facebook) have until now focused on individual use, "direct" boasts the same intuitive operation found in such services, but also features enterprise use as well as L is B's proprietary action stamps (*1) and bots (*2) to offer "daab SDK" (*3), an internal system connection function. Doing so has led to increased demand mainly among major companies to use "direct" in their private clouds. In response to this market demand, IIJ made the decision to enter into a business partnership with L is B and also to invest in the company, since providing "direct" to customers on IIJ GIO private clouds in even more secure environments would have a synergistic effect on service sales for both companies.
(*1) action stamps: An independently developed function that allows for location information, task sharing, schedule adjustment, surveys, statistics, and more to be sent and shared easily using stamps
(*2) bots: Programs that automatically execute commands in chatrooms, and that are used for connecting "direct" with internal business systems, etc.
(*3) daab (direct agent assist bot) SDK (Software Development Kit): a set of programming tools to develop bots
Business Partnership Description
IIJ and L is B will work together to develop a private cloud version of "direct" which operates on IIJ GIO. The companies intend to release a beta version in 2015, and will begin offering the service officially within FY 2015. IIJ will develop bots linked with customers' internal business systems, and will build and administer a secure environment for operating these bots on IIJ GIO. IIJ will also sell a SaaS version of the product on behalf of L is B.
Business Partnership with Capital Involvement Description
IIJ plans to acquire 3,125 shares (10.2% of issuing shares) of common stock belonging to L is B via third-party allocation of new shares. The stock acquisition is planned for May 1, 2015.