& cplSiteName &

Genband Extends UC Reach With uReach Buy

Sarah Thomas
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        ADD A COMMENT
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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: Light Sabre
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: Light Sabre
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
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
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?
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 28, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit 101
Will Barkis, Senior Technology Analyst, Orange
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Optical Innovation 2016

9|6|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of the 2016 Huawei Optical Innovation forum.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Are You Ready for Huawei Connect 2016?

8|31|16   |     |   (0) comments


Join us for an exclusive sneak peak of Huawei Connect, an integrated conference for the global ICT ecosystem taking place in Shanghai.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP's Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments


F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/21/2016
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2016
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
You Thought Your Customer Service Was Unreliable... Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.