Light Reading
Acquisition of uReach aimed at transforming Tier 1 service providers' legacy voicemail systems.

Genband Extends UC Reach With uReach Buy

Sarah Reedy
2/18/2014
50%
50%

Genband is continuing its services acquisition streak with the purchase of unified communications (UC) and voicemail provider uReach Technologies.

Genband Inc. says the acquisition, announced on Tuesday, is aimed at helping Tier 1 and Tier 2 fixed, mobile, and cable operators upgrade their legacy systems to more robust visual voicemail and communications services.

uReach has been powering voicemail for large operators, including Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) in the US, for a decade, but Sanjay Bhatia, Genband's VP of Transformation Solutions, says a "large portion" of operators are still stuck in non-IP voicemail solutions.

What it hopes to offer them is a migration away from those legacy systems and onto an integrated UC platform making use of uReach's advanced voicemail services, as well as video mail, a mobile fax service, and an automated VirtualReceptionist for small businesses. Its platform uses REST APIs, works over IMS networks, and supports open standards, which Genband says fits in with its own software-driven, open standards approach to telephony. (See Genband Unifies Its Enterprise UC Story.)

Bhatia adds that uReach's messaging capabilities are deployable from the cloud or over the top of the network, which makes it a good fit with Genband's overall mobile, cloud, and OTT strategies.

New Genband CEO David Walsh told Light Reading in September to expect more M&A from the company as it builds out its services portfolio around cloud communications, 4G voice, and WebRTC. Most recently it acquired fring, a voice-over-IP provider now deployed with French operator Bouygues Telecom . Terms of the uReach acquisition were not announced. (See Genband Acquires fring to Help CSPs Go OTT, Bouygues First to Use Genband's fring, What's Next for Genband?, and Pulling the Strings At Genband.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(10)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 5:41:21 PM
Re: If UC it...
Interesting feedback. Thanks for sharing, Phil!
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Moderator
2/18/2014 | 1:50:23 PM
Re: If UC it...
Short answer: They are willing to pay more. 

Long answer: 61% of smaller SMBs and 79% of larger SMBs told us they were interested, very interested or extremely interested in UC for their business. Both groups expressed a willingness to pay extra fees per month to have access to the UC feature set particularly when presented with a deeper description of UC features including integrated voicemail, and call jump (the ability to move a call across devices without interrupting the call).

We worked with a company that secret-shopped service providers to show exactly how diverse the pricing, packaging and offers can be. When looking at TCO, the lowest cost offers were around $50/user/month; the highest cost offers, over $140/user/month. I can share that data with you directly -- drop me a line.  

-ph

 

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/18/2014 | 1:17:48 PM
Re: If UC it...
Thanks, Phil. Did the survey pinpoint how much "more" SMBs would be willing to pay for UC?
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Moderator
2/18/2014 | 12:00:59 PM
Re: If UC it...
It's also tough to measure UC because vendors have sort of defined it however they like. We've done some research into what feature set SMBs want from service providers and it does help explain why some components of UC are more popular than others:

http://www.metaswitch.com/new-white-paper-reveals-north-american-smb-appetite-ip-communications-and-cloud-services
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/18/2014 | 11:42:13 AM
Re: If UC it...
Right -- that's been my take on UC for the past few years. There are some good reasons for it to be deployed, but maybe not enough good reasons, which means it doesn't move up the "to-do" list for operators. Again, that's not to say it won't hit the mainstream, but the ramp time has been pretty long.
TaraSeals
50%
50%
TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/18/2014 | 11:23:50 AM
Re: If UC it...
ALL of the analyst firms that do forecasting on UC and UC as a service (UCaaS) expect it to hockeystick into massive enterprise and SMB growth--and if you look at what's happening in the channel partner space, UC is one of the top offerings that those guys and gals are pushing--hard. I don't think there's any doubt that interest in UC is there, but so far the obstacles to adoption are lingering--namely, complexity. Acquisitions like GENBAND's of uReach help create a holistic offering with not just UC but everything else that UC requires to work. So that means simplified deployment for service providers and end users--and which goes long way to moving the market along.
brookseven
100%
0%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/18/2014 | 11:22:59 AM
Re: If UC it...
Dennis,

All of this is going to be a slow grind.  Over time systems will retire. Unless there is NEW business associated with it, why would anybody obsolete old voice systems.  I always read two arguments:

1 - The newer systems are lower CAPEX.  That would be true IF the carrier were buying lots of new systems.  But they aren't.  Hard to beat the cost of an installed system.

2 - The newer systems are lower OPEX.  This is actually not true. Yes, the product may take less space, power and cooling.  However, it has to be tested and approved.  People have to be trained to operate it.  Procedures and guidelines have to be written.  I have been told that a new product is a $20M deal for a Tier 1 carrier.  The lowered cost has to exceed that number to break even.

And worse yet for most of these systems is the relative scarcity of lab personnel.  Carriers do not have infinite bandwidth to approve new systems.  They focus on areas that are of importance to them.  The question for UC is:  Why is UC more important than SDN and NFV (or a million other things that can be done)?

seven
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 11:22:13 AM
Re: If UC it...
Btw, Ericsson will also be showing off its new enterprise UC wares, alongside Radio Dot, at MWC next week: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9246265/Ericsson_readies_mobile_unified_communications_push
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
2/18/2014 | 11:19:18 AM
Re: If UC it...
Features of UC seem to be popular, but not the whole suite of services, at least not yet. Plus, Genband will be pitching its offering aainst free alternatives like Google Hangouts (although Ray and I can tell you, it doesn't always work as advertised) and established vendors like Ericsson. Interest in uReach will likely be more about its voicemail services, I imagine. We take that for granted on iPhones, but a lot of operator and handsets are still stuck in the past with their voicemail offerings, ie. dial in, enter a password and have to listen to each message.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/18/2014 | 10:32:31 AM
If UC it...
UC has been on the periphery for a long time now. Even as communication options have multiplied, it can't seem to crack the "must have" list -- kind of like videoconferencing. Do you think UC adoption will ever hit critical mass?
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
Razorsight Expert's Advice on Real-Time Analytics

11|27|14   |   1:43   |   (0) comments


Razorsight's powerful cloud-based Predictive Analytics solutions are used by the world's leading communications and media brands to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimize outcomes. Get expert advice.
LRTV Interviews
From 4G to 5G: Alcatel-Lucent's Dave Geary

11|25|14   |   09:09   |   (1) comment


Dave Geary, President of Wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, talks about the evolution of the 4G market, small cells, partnerships, 5G and the IoT.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Secure Telefonica Network With Huawei's High-End Firewall

11|24|14   |   4:37   |   (0) comments


Andrew Davies, IP architect of the Telefonica, a leading digital communications company, discusses the Huawei security gateway solution and putting the solution into the testbed.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners with Spirent to Verify CE12816's 10GE Port & TRILL Networking Capabilities

11|24|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Spirent Communications is the world's leading supplier for telecom testing appliances and solutions. Spirent has been in a close partnership with Huawei for a long time.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Airlines & Its ICT Transformation

11|24|14   |   2:07   |   (0) comments


In this video, Saudi Airlines discusses its network problems and how Huawei's Agile Network is its all-in-one solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Switch Benefiting Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital

11|24|14   |   2:40   |   (0) comments


Saudi Arabia's Yamamah Hospital speaks about how Huawei's Agile Switch has improved the medical service's network infrastructure.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FanPlay & Huawei Build a Wireless Agile Smart Stadium

11|24|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


FanPlay is a cloud-based white label service, which is effectively a football fan engagement platform underpinned by mobile payment technology.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building an Agile Stadium

11|24|14   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Stadiums may be thousands of tons of concrete and steel, but they now need to be agile. Being at the stadium may not be as alluring as it once was. Sports franchises and stadium operators discuss how to get fans back.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Helps ChinaCache Tackle Challenges in the Internet Industry

11|24|14   |   3:09   |   (0) comments


ChinaCache is China's largest content distribution network supplier. Huawei's CE12800 has provided ChinaCache with very strong support in its establishment of an infrastructure network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cefinity on Managed Security Services & Next-Generation Firewall

11|24|14   |   7:05   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a cloud management service provider in Southeast Asia. Ivan Zhang, CEO of the company, discusses the implementation of security service management in the cloud era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Agile Gateway in the Eyes of Cefinity

11|24|14   |   2:11   |   (0) comments


Cefinity is a managed service provider for enterprise networks. The company currently uses Huawei's AR series routers for the most complete range of functions. CEO Ivan Zhang speaks about the advantages of the AR series routers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
CTO of Bus-Online Talks About Huawei's Agile Gateway

11|24|14   |   2:53   |   (0) comments


Bus-Online covers around 100 million users everyday. In addition to providing mobile TV, and advertising services to the public, Bus-Online has also entered the field of mobile Internet.
Upcoming Live Events
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
Hot Topics
Net Neutrality Even Mark Cuban Could Love
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/26/2014
Eurobites: Net Neutrality Battle Looms
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/27/2014
Why 5G Is a Different Beast
Robert Clark, 11/26/2014
New Juniper CEO Can Be Thankful for $14.5M
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2014
Amazon Eyes Ad-Supported Video – NY Post
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 11/25/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed