One of the biggest trends we saw in the UC space 2017, was the overwhelming desire for vendors large and small to combine their powers with other contenders in the space. This drive for consolidation has arrived in a world where many growing companies believe that they can no longer offer the complete end-to-end solution their customers are looking for, without a little help from their friends.
In 2017 we saw deals from BroadSoft, Cisco, ShoreTel, and Mitel, and the acquisitions haven’t slowed down as we push through into January. The very first week of 2018 brought with it a flood of market mergers, as UC brands looked for ways to support their New Year’s resolutions to become the biggest and best vendors on the block.
The Story So Far In 2018
One of the first deals to appear in 2018 came from Star2Star, and Blueface, a hybrid cloud communications solution, and a UCaaS provider. They’re set to complete a deal worth $500 million, which should leave them with a global team of more than 500 employees.
At the same time, Polycom has begun 2018 with a quest to improve their VoIP offerings, by purchasing Obihai Technology, a VoIP hardware and software provider from California. The telecoms company believes that the cloud services and products delivered by Obihai will help them to get an edge on their competitors for the new year. With Obihai, Polycom will be able to add more analogue terminal adapter strategies and cloud solutions to their portfolio.
What’s more, the merger, which should be completed by the end of the first quarter, is set to expand the market reach that Polycom has already achieved in the UC industry, so that they can connect with more potential channel partners.
Finally, West Corp. just announced their acquisition of automated software systems from PhoneTree, a healthcare communications company. The PhoneTree system will be combined with West’s existing healthcare strategy for interactive services, to deliver more customer-facing solutions for messaging that compete with existing CPaaS vendors.
Bringing the UC Market Together
We’ve barely begun to explore 2018, and there’s already plenty of signs that this year is going to be another platform for consolidation in the Unified Communications world. As consumer demands grow greater, and companies across the globe recognise their limitations, vendors will need to play nice with their competitors if they want to give their clients the ultimate product.
As we continue forward into the New Year, we’re likely to see plenty of new acquisitions, deals, and mergers from some of the major players in the industry, including RingCentral, Fuze, Avaya, and many more. So far, it seems that getting ahead in the UC sector in 2018 could be a team effort.