Briefs: Nortel Purchases Voice Systems Maker

Nortel Networks has acquired Periphonics Corp., a Bohemia, New York-based provider of interactive voice systems, in a deal valued at about US$436 million. Nortel, in Brampton, Ontario, said the purchase is part of its strategy to deliver networks that unify voice, data and the Internet. Periphonics' customers are mainly in the financial and telecommunications sectors.

Gartner Layoffs Part Of E-Commerce Push

Information technology research and advisory firm Gartner Group Inc. said it will lay off about 175 people, approximately 5 percent of its workforce, in an effort to refocus its resources on its new e-commerce products and services. Last month, the Stamford, Connecticut-based firm launched 33 electronic-business-related products and services.

Compaq SellsVPN Tools to Axent

Compaq Computer Corp. has sold its AltaVista firewall and tunnel security products to Axent Technologies Inc. in Rockville, Maryland, for undisclosed terms. The deal requires Compaq to transfer the virtual private network (VPN) tools and engineering staff to Axent. Compaq will then resell the renamed products. Compaq said its security products were separate from the sale of Palo Alto, California-based AltaVista Co. and Web search technology to Andover, Massachusetts-based CMGI Inc. in June.

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