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
After years of sitting on the sidelines, Microsoft has pledged to support WebRTC -- formerly thought of as a Skype competitor -- in Internet Explorer.
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.
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.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (2) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
Upcoming Live Events
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
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, 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
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed