Cox Business is now offering a product that is largely new for MSOs: managed IP PBX services. The new service is based on Cisco's Small Business Communications System, and has been launched in their Oklahoma and Las Vegas markets. If it goes well, no doubt that geographical reach will be expanded. They also expect to launch SIP trunking this year, further expanding their presence in the business voice space.
Cox Business has been one of the most aggressive cable-based participants in the SME space, having taken a substantial share from Qwest and others in markets like Omaha . While they don't give too many metrics about the depth of their fiber footprint, there is no doubt that in addition to new products they are hooking up buildings rather rapidly. And Vertical Systems Group ranks them at #4 in terms of business Ethernet penetration, behind only AT&T, Verizon, and tw Telecom.
I can't help but think that it could be Cox that makes the next M&A move when it comes to the cloud and managed services targeted at these customers. TW Cable's purchase of NaviSite seems like the template for such a move, but actual likely targets are harder to discern since unlike NaviSite most of them are probably privately held. Nevertheless, I'm on the lookout for such an event. Can anyone offer any suggestions as to who they might buy to jump start such an effort? Or would they build their own?
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