A couple of data center acquisitions happened (and some other notes). Shaw Communications, a Canadian cableco, came down to acquire the data center company, ViaWest, for about $1.2 Billion from the private equity owners. [pr]
The other move: Alpheus bought StratITsphere's retail datacenter business. "Alpheus, seeing strong demand for colocation in Houston, gets immediate access to additional space that fortunately was already connected to the Alpheus network," writes 451 Research.
In addition, Thinking Phone Networks is acquiring Whaleback. Whaleback was one of the original players in the UC space. Bright House was one of their partners. I had not heard the name Whaleback in years, so this was a surprise.
Besides all the Internet of Things buzz at ITEXPO - and oh boy was IoT front and center especially with the AT&T app contest and StartupCamp - there is still lots of talk about UC, especially how all these various components of UC make their way into the Contact Center or are handled by brand reputation management. Or just how anyone ends up with one unified inbox of texts/SMS, IM/chat, email, social, video, etc. (Won't that email app be a memory hog moreso than Thunderbird or Outlook?)
The final question was about Windstream's REIT. More than half of the company's revenue and market cap will be moved into the REIT, because trusts have to be funded. The copper assets - which are used to drive 70% of the revenue at Windstream - have to have been depreciated down to nothing by now, right? It's an interesting move by a company that is squeezed by cash flow, debt and investors. It is actually the most creative thing this company has ever done. Mostly they just sell telecom under water, but I would like to have been in the room when one brave employee suggested the REIT move. Rob Powell does note that Zayo's dark fiber is organized in a similar fashion. I imagine that Fairpoint and Frontier are watching this maneuver closely.
One thought: OTT VoIP works for small business, but it requires a sales force of some kind to sell to mid-market. Oh, and the hosted PBX space is VERY crowded.
And a couple of rumors:
A VAR told me that FreePBX might be pulling support for Yealink over a dispute with Schmooze. Ah, politics.
FreedomVoice is losing people - there has been an employee talent drain since last year - but they are also losing dealers. FreedomVoice sells their FreedomIQ hosted PBX service exclusively through dealers. The new version launch wasn't what dealers expected - and quite frankly with all of the choices out there .... Plus the former channel managers have been taking dealers to their new orgs, which is par for the course in telecom.
Huge lesson here: The channel partner's relationship with the service provider is through the Channel Manager! It is that relationship that defines the partnership for the most part.