& 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?
From The Founder
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
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 Documentaries
Verizon's Ed Chan on the New World for Networks

5|29|17   |   19:08   |   (0) comments


In this 2017 Big Communications Event keynote, Ed Chan Senior Vice President, Technology, Strategy and Planning, Corporate Networking and Technology, Verizon, discusses the coming world of sensors and the smart edge, powered by new spectrum and faster fiber uploads. For more BCE coverage and videos,
LRTV Interviews
Zayo's CTO: Respect the Infrastructure!

5|29|17   |   3:04   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, Zayo's CTO Jack Waters talked about infrastructure and the changing customer landscape for network providers. While everyone else is chatting up applications and services, Waters urges the industry not to downplay the role that ...
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Creating Dynamic Networks to Meet Business Needs

5|26|17   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


As enterprises need more dynamic networks, service providers need to deliver on-demand, virtual services to meet those needs. AT&T is creating a networking fabric to mix-and-match SDN technologies for enterprise customers, says Roman Pacewicz, AT&T senior vice president for offer management and service integration, in an interview at Light Reading's
LRTV Interviews
EdgeConneX on Industry Headwinds & Tailwinds

5|26|17   |   2:41   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017, EdgeConneX CTO Don MacNeil discussed the value of partnerships in the digital world.
LRTV Documentaries
4 Steps Toward a Higher Network IQ

5|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas, EXFO CEO Philippe Morin explains how sensors and analytics can boost a network's intelligence and enable on-demand customer experiences. Find more BCE 2017 coverage here.
LRTV Interviews
BT's McRae Sheds Light on 4K Strategy

5|25|17   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017 in Austin, Texas, BT Group's Chief Network Architect Neil McRae talks about what it took for BT to broadcast live sports in 4K. Catch up with all our BCE coverage at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
From the Founder
How the NIA Aims to Advance NFV

5|25|17   |   08:07   |   (1) comment


Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
Better Solutions That Address Growing Scale

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


For Comcast, the X1 rollout and 17-fold increases in broadband speeds in the past 16 years are among factors driving the need for Energy 2020 solutions that reduce cost and consumption, says Mark Hess.
LRTV Custom TV
Ethernity Network Delivers Instant Offloading of Network Functions With All-Programmable Intelligent NIC

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Levi, CEO of Ethernity Networks, explains that programmability of the hardware makes the company's All-Programmable Intelligent NIC uniquely beneficial for communications service providers that need advanced data appliances with agile support of virtualization. Utilizing the company's patented network processing technology, Ethernity offers data path ...
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Vodafone Gets Obsessed With Cloud-Native

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Vodafone's Matt Beal updates us on Project Ocean and explains why simple virtualization isn't enough of a goal for network transformation. Catch up with other BCE 2017 keynotes and news at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.