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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Merger/Acquisition

Facebook Buys Mobile Photo Sharing Site Instagram

April 9, 2012

Even before its IPO, Facebook has decided to make a major acquisition with millions of users for a billion dollars of cash and stock. Mark Zuckerberg mentioned on his Facebook timeline that this acquisition of Instagram is the largest they have ever done and may be the last of this size.
Moreover, that Facebook will leave Instagram as a standalone company insomuch that you will be able to use Instagram without sharing on Facebook if you so choose.
The move was a very smart one as Instagram could eventually be a threat to the company's core business. Furthermore it allows the social networking giant to gain even greater access to the mobile market - the fastest growing segment of just about every tech business. And even more importantly is the cover the company has in the form of Google+ allowing it to gobble up marketshare without regard for antitrust concerns.
Reminds me of Oracle putting together a major software company with major marketshare using the cover of Microsoft competition.
Will Pinterest be next?



Vocalocity: One Cloud Provider's Path to Growth

March 10, 2012

Cloud computing providers are all the rage these days and cloud communications is no exception. Witness the growth of 8x8 as well as the M&A interest in the space evidenced by the recent acquisition of M5 Networks by ShoreTel and the acquisition of Aptela by Vocalocity.

I recently had a chance to speak with Wain Kellum the CEO Vocalocity to get a sense of how his company is differentiating itself from other hosted/cloud providers in the space. First off the combined company has over 15,000 customers and over 100,000 network endpoints.

11 Things Yahoo Must Do Now That Yang Has Stepped Down

January 18, 2012

As reported on TMCnet yesterday, Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo! has stepped down from the board to pursue other interests. We have a great deal to thank Yang for – as the first company to categorize the web and build out many free services, society has benefit greatly from what Yahoo has more or less given away for free. That is the positive – the negative is the company has eroded top management and investor confidence for many years. Not to mention the botched Microsoft acquisition some years back at a valuation more than double what the company is worth now.

Can Incumbent Companies be Disruptors?

January 14, 2012

Business disruption through technologies they never saw coming is fascinating to me. I have been fortunate enough to be in the technology and communications spaces at a time when the pace of change has been breathtaking.

Consider for example in the 1980s when Rockwell one of the leading ACD manufacturers collaborated with IBM to enable computer-telephony integration or CTI. As a point of reference an ACD is an automatic call distributor and is the machine that asks you to press one if you are calling about domestic travel and so on.

What You May not Know About the AT&T T-Mobile Breakup

December 24, 2011

Most of my readers no doubt know that AT&T has decided not to pursue the acquisition of T-Mobile USA because the US government deemed the transaction would hurt consumers.

One of the best articles I have seen on the matter however comes from the AP and is worth a read. Here are some highlights:

  • The Justice Department had sued on Aug. 31 to block the merger.
  • AT&T's purchase of fourth–ranked T–Mobile, announced in March, would have made it the largest cellphone company in the U.S.
  • AT&T will now have to pay Deutsche Telekom $3 billion in cash as a breakup fee and give it about $1 billion worth of spectrum.
  • It will also enter into a roaming agreement with Deutsche Telekom so that AT&T's and T–Mobile's customers can use each other's networks.
  • Craig Moffett says AT&T's spectrum needs aren't so grave that it needs to make a large acquisition right away.

Will AT&T Divest in 2012?

December 22, 2011

TMC Senior Editor Peter Bernstein thinks AT&T may explore divestiture options next year and it is a conceivable thought. Moreover, what is worth thinking about is what will the Department of Justice do with other high-profile acquisition attempts next year. After all, Peter’s prediction is obviously made because in-part the AT&T and T-Mobile deal wasn’t approved.

Many of Peter’s predictions for next year are thought-provoking and AT&T is number one of the list.

Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

Got Big Telecom Data? You Need Infinity Ear from Empirix!

August 16, 2011

OK, this isn’t a real product name – yet but you could potentially help pick it – be sure to let the company know if you have a name for their new product line.

I sat down with Tim Moynihan and Gordon Eddy of Empirix at SpeechTek and was happy to hear the company has been experiencing double-digit growth. Testing companies like Empirix are a great barometer for the markets they serve as they grow with the percentage of deployments in the spaces are in. In this case, the company is seeing increasing orders as a result of the migration to IP so SIP trunking and SBC deployments have really helped the bottom line.
Moreover, companies are seeking out testing services from Empirix before they deploy CRM, call center and UC services.

Mergers have been another positive factor in the company’s growth as companies have to ensure their disparate systems can interop smoothly before they go live as part of a more seamless network of communications systems.

An interesting area of expansion will be introduced this fall – analyzing “big data” for the telecom space. The point here is big data is being scraped and analyzed with positive results in data centers but there has been a lack of tools to do the same in the telecom space.






Why Windstream Bought PAETEC

August 1, 2011

Broadband and communications provider Windstream Corp just agreed to purchase communications conglomerate PAETEC for $2.3 billion in order to add scale and drive growth. PAETEC is an interesting company as it not only provides broadband and IP communications services; it also has data center services, is a large telecom reseller/interconnect, provider of telecom expense management (TEM) solutions and more.

Earlier this year I reported that PAETEC CEO Arunis Chesonis was looking for potential acquisition targets in India and elsewhere and in fact the company did just pick up XETA Technologies to boost its cloud-based service offerings. Interestingly his own company may have been in play while PAETEC itself was exploring more acquisition targets.

Keep Bing at Microsoft

July 26, 2011

From a  competitive position, it would be major trouble to remove Bing from the deep pockets of Microsoft. Talk of the business being potentially sold to Facebook when that company needs to focus on fighting Google+ makes little sense. There are few other strong software companies beyond Oracle and Salesforce who I think could do a better job with Bing than Microsoft.

But like I said in May, Microsoft is doing as much as can be expected with Bing.

We know Marc Benioff loves Google so count them out of such a purchase - and Oracle, no fan of Microsoft or Google probably doesn't need the headache or the money-losing business as it is doing fine right now, thank you.

Microsoft has to continue to make Bing better while simultaneously forging stronger relationships with companies who are competing with Google. Facebook and Twitter are two obvious ones - perhaps LinkedIn is another company to work very closely with.

You see as long as Google is a dominant player in so many spaces, Microsoft can play the underdog position and work with all the companies they want.







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