& 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
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
The Real-World View of Service Provider Innovation
Executives from Deutsch Telekom, Facebook, AT&T, Vodafone, and Masergy share insights from their company’s major transformation efforts and updates on key issues including open source, managed cloud connections and 5G.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS 2016 Highlights

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of Huawei's UBBS event in Hong Kong.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
European 2020 Digital Agenda

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Anacom's Fatima Barros discusses the plan to bring ultrafast broadband to Portugal by 2020.
Upcoming Live Events
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Nokia Plays It Smart With Major Mobile Devices Brand Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/18/2016
AT&T Plots Mobile 5G Tests in 2017
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/18/2016
Ingenu Revs Up IoT Rhetoric
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/18/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.