M&A Review 2016: Unified Communications and Managed Services

December 28th, 2016 by · 1 Comment

The M&A landscape in 2016 has been quite interesting.  This week we've gone back to look at events in the network and data center spaces, and now let's turn to the Voice, UC, and Managed services end of things.  I don't pretend to cover all managed services in detail, so I'll miss a few, but the Voice/UC side has been particularly interesting this year in North America.  We've covered a few by network operators already, here are some more independent moves.

BroadSoft continued to roll up smaller players, adding to the company's potential UC market reach with key technology and talent acquisitions.  Early in the year they acquired Transera, entering the cloud contact center space.  In May, the next target was Intellinote, which specialized in enterprise messaging and collaboration software.  And in October they acquired VoIP Logic, which had built a wholesale platform aimed at smaller service providers.

Another of the bigger VoIP movers of the year has been Onvoy, once spun off by Zayo.  The private equity group GTCR is in the process of acquiring the wholesale voice switching operator Inteliquent and combining it with Onvoy, which it already owns.  Onvoy itself had made an earlier purchase of ANPI.  But before that even happened, Inteliquent made a deal of its own with the purchase of Shopety, a.k.a. Better Voice.  And before that.

Mitel has been one of the consolidators of the VoIP space for some years, and in the first half of the year it seemed that Polycom would be their next target.  But that deal fell apart when Polycom got a better offer from Siris Capital, which took the company private.  Mitel then sold off its Mobile division (formerly Mavenir) to Xura, which also bought Ranzure at the same time.

MagicJack made a move this year with the acquisition of Broadsmart, perhaps beginning a pivot toward the SMB.

Vonage made a deal of its own, acquiring Nexmo to boost its cloud communications capabilities aimed at the enterprise space.

Meanwhile, Masergy will be changing private equity hands, as Berkshire Partners revealed the purchase of the company from ABRY Partners.  I half-expected Masergy to wind up in GTT's corner eventually, though I suppose that could still happen one day.

And Akamai made a few moves to boost its cloud offerings and talent pool.  They acquired Concord Systems to add in a bit of big data.  Then they acquired Soha Systems to add enterprise secure access capabilities to the mix.

There are plenty of other things going on out there in this area, but that's what I was paying attention to this year.  Add yours in the comments below.

Categories: Managed Services · Mergers and Acquisitions · Unified Communications · VoIP

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