Light Reading
M&A and partnerships related to SDN, SPIT, security, OTT, and LTE make up this year's hotly contested best deal-maker category.

Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Best Deal Maker

Sarah Reedy
5/30/2014
50%
50%

One side-effect of the rapid shift to new technologies such as SDN and NFV is the large vendors' need to acquire companies and form partnerships to ramp up their offerings quickly. It also means they have many innovative startups to choose from.

That's one big reason we had an abundance of qualified entries in the category of Best Deal Maker for the past year. This award goes to the company that has consistently demonstrated good timing, judgment, and execution in high-profile acquisitions, partnerships, joint ventures, and other multi-company financial arrangements. (See Leading Lights 2014: The Finalists.)

Our six finalists span a number of important tech trends including SDN, SPIT, over-the-top, LTE, and security. Check them out in alphabetical order below.

Amdocs Ltd. -- for the acquisitions of Actix and Celcite
In the past year, Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) has made two acquisitions that have taken the service provider IT (SPIT) player from the back office to deep inside the radio network. It purchased mobile network optimization specialist Actix for $120 million in September 2013 and self-optimizing network (SON) vendor Celcite Management Solutions LLC for $129 million in November 2013.

The acquisitions allowed Amdocs to create a new business unit, Amdocs Network Solutions, and tackle the increasingly important big data market. It's a relatively new player here, and still has to prove itself, but the assets gained from Actix and Celcite strengthen its marketing message by giving it the ability to offer granular network data analysis to operators.

SON will also become an increasingly important technology for operators managing complex heterogeneous networks and needing to do so in ways that are responsive and automated. Amdocs' network optimization story is strengthened by its back-to-back buys, which it says are aimed at turning it into the "leading vendor-agnostic network optimization provider."

Cisco Systems Inc. -- for the acquisition of Sourcefire
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) went from having very little story in mobile network security to making money and stealing market share from security incumbents via its $2.7 billion acquisition of intelligent cyber-security provider Sourcefire, completed in October of last year. (The company also acquired Cognitive Security in February 2013 and ThreatGrid in May 2014, but both were outside timeline for this year's awards.)

Security is an extremely important topic for network operators, made even more crucial as they branch into machine-to-machine communications, the cloud, and new networks. Through its Sourcefire acquisition, Cisco provides an advanced "threat-centric security model" that includes threat detection, enforcement, and remediation technologies for operators. Instead of focusing on policy and controls, Cisco claims to work hard to understand the attackers and their methods to stop them before an attack and quickly respond when one does happen.

Genband Inc. -- for the acquisitions of fring and uReach Technologies
Private equity-owned Genband Inc. is no stranger to M&A, but in the past year it has focused its efforts on helping its operator customers respond to the OTT threat. The networking company acquired OTT voice service fring in September and followed up with the acquisition of uReach Technologies in February of this year.

Genband snatched up fring to give wireless operators a white-label response to OTT or cable and fixed service providers an entry into mobile communications. It provides video chat, VoIP calls, and group chat, and Genband has already integrated with its SpiDR WebRTC gateway. Within weeks of announcing the deal, the vendor also named its first customer, France's Bouygues Telecom , which is using the service to offer free phone calls and SMS over WiFi for its customers who are traveling abroad.

With uReach, Genband is aiming to update the operators stuck in legacy non-IP voicemail solutions with visual voicemail, virtual assistants, and unified communications. Combined with fring, it's all part of Genband's strategy to be a software-driven proponent of real-time communications whether on the cloud, in mobile, or OTT. And, these are likely not the last of the acquisitions we'll see from Genband this year as it continues to build out that story.

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/2/2014 | 10:46:07 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Yes, job requirements can be tedious. Free range is the better option, although we all know that no range is truly free.
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Moderator
6/2/2014 | 10:41:33 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Or, I'm finding it easier to concentrate without a message board quota to worry about. 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/2/2014 | 10:39:20 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Looks like somebody misses being editor.
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Moderator
6/1/2014 | 10:44:12 PM
Re: Anyone else?
Was Liberty Global/Virgin Media deal too early in 2013 to be considered?

Also, Facebook/WhatsApp is much more of an influential deal than, say, Genband/fring.

Google/Stackdriver was very interesting, too. It was one of 14 companies purchased this year.

Don't sleep on Microsoft, either. They've bought seven companies in the last 12 months and spent more than $7B to get Nokia's mobile device business.  Other buys gave them assets in API management, mobile computing and cloud computing. 
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
6/1/2014 | 11:39:48 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Neither have gone through yet, so they'd be 2015 candidates but definitely worthwhile ones if they do close.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/1/2014 | 4:56:36 AM
Re: Anyone else?
No love for the DirecTV acquisition by AT&T, I see.

But then again, AT&T already has U-verse.

The more glaring omission, though, is the Comcast-Time Warner deal, if it goes through.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
6/1/2014 | 4:53:04 AM
Juniper settlement?
I don't know if this counts, but how about a nod toward Juniper for -- as part of its highly favorable settlement with Palo Alto Networks over their myriad patent litigation -- getting $100M in Palo Alto Networks stock (not to mention $75M cash)?
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/30/2014 | 11:55:36 AM
Re: Anyone else?
Yes, that's a huge one. Same with SnapChat for its acquisition of AddLive.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/30/2014 | 11:54:05 AM
Re: Anyone else?
@Sarah: What about the deal between facebook & whats app? Its a major deal that will combine mobile peer to peer messaging with social networking like never before.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
5/30/2014 | 10:40:14 AM
Anyone else?
What other big deal makers do you think should be on this list? Unfortunately, Softbank did not apply..
More Blogs from Light Reedy
Despite the launch of its new Passport smartphone, BlackBerry needs to embrace a future that's in M2M, messaging and enterprise services.
Vodafone's Dr. Alan Law talks to Light Reading about virtualization, backhaul, SON and more after being appointed chairman of the Small Cell Forum.
Wireless operators are jumping on the mobile music bandwagon, a move that sounds good for many reasons.
The worlds of tennis, fashion and wearables collide as Ralph Lauren and OMsignal turn a polo into a sensor to track your every movement.
The fine print on Sprint's new $60 plan suggests it can prioritize other plans' traffic first – a letdown, and maybe even a net neutrality violation.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed