Dialogic has officially acquired the communications platforms division of NMS as of Friday evening and I had the opportunity to speak with Dialogic’s Senior Vice President of Marketing Jim Machi about the acquisition and the future of the company. You may recall, I first reported on the news back on September 12th.
Before I get into the conversation with Machi, it is worth pointing out that the major competition in the CTI space between Dialogic, NMS and Brooktrout has finally come to an end this past weekend.
These companies were at each other’s throats in decades past but as they competed, the industry thrived. More importantly, this rivalry caused the communications market to open to the point where a high school kid can develop telephony apps in the cloud with no knowledge of underlying telephony networks. CTI was a huge step towards openness in telecom and as these building blocks which were used for computer telephony integration began to be applied to IP communications and more specifically, VoIP – the world changed.
The opportunity for companies like Dialogic is changing and while VoIP is a big part of the company’s business, video is a strong part of the future. A major part of the reason for this deal in fact is to further the company’s leadership in mobile value-added services which is of course includes video. The immense amount of focus the company is putting on this space should be evident from presentation made by Nick Jensen at the recent Dialogic One Conference in San Diego where he said video is the new voice.
While speaking with Jim Machi, perhaps the most exciting part of the conversation was that Brough Turner will be joining the company as Chief Strategy Officer. This is a big deal as Turner is a pure genius and understands technology as well as markets.
For Turner, this opportunity means he can work with a team that has tremendous momentum in communications markets worldwide. There will be more resources and probably an order of magnitude more complexity when you consider the absorption and integration of platforms taking place at Dialogic. I can’t think of a more suitable person that Brough to be involved at this point.
Machi points out that there is a great deal of growth expected in the mobile value-added services market and I tend to agree. There is a large amount of cannibalization taking place by the Apple iTunes App Store and other similar initiatives by RIM, Nokia and Microsoft but there is still plenty of room for carriers to make lots of money via new mobile services.
I asked Machi how he sees the economy affecting this space and he says that he can’t see people giving up their cell phones. I tend to agree and this comment and it reminded me of a friend who owned a good deal of low income apartment buildings. He often told me about eviction cases where tenants stopped paying rent but wouldn’t stop paying their cable bills because they couldn’t stand to live without TV.
Machi also mentioned customers are more likely to get rid of landlines than mobile devices and carriers will have to fight to keep subscribers – implying that services matter.
Another important part of our discussion centered around the enterprise and the fact that Dialogic is still very committed to this space and has not reduced development at all. In fact the Cantata acquisition brought considerable enterprise and fax assets via the Brooktrout product line of the company.
As to the future, Machi alluded to seeing a number of value added services next year centering around video and other technologies.
As the chapter entitled CTI competition comes to an end, I can’t help but think we are on the precipice of new and exciting technologies which will transform mobile devices into communications gateways with access to anything and everything we wish – enabling us to see the world, broadcast whatever we like and take advantage of video, social networking and collaboration like never before.