2016 will be remembered as an incredible year for cloud communications. The industry witnessed a number of mergers and acquisitions, various breakthroughs and product launches, and many other developments that promise to shape the future of cloud and business communications as a whole. And as 2016 comes to a close, it’s a good time to look back at all the biggest highlights that mattered this year.
Take a trip down memory lane with VoIPReview.org as we look back at the high-profile company moves and acquisitions, exciting product launches, newest trends and technologies, and everything else that impacted the cloud communications space in 2016.
Polycom agrees to merge with Mitel...but backs out to receive a competing offer.
Mitel CEO Richard McBee has been on a mission to grow the company through a series of strategic acquisitions. One of their biggest attempts so far was acquiring collaboration and communication technology provider Polycom. In April, the company announced that it has finally inked a merger agreement, valued at $1.96 billion. But just when everything seemed well, the deal fell apart when Polycom received and approved a higher offer from Siris Capital Group, which was reportedly valued at $2 billion. The acquisition was completed in September.
Vonage seals $230 million deal to buy Nexmo.
In line with the company’s goal of expanding its reach beyond voice and into messaging, leading cloud communications provider Vonage announced in May that it has entered into an agreement to buy Nexmo, the second largest communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) company. Months after the acquisition, Vonage wasted no time as it launched its next-generation Nexmo voice API (Application Program Interface). The API lets developers build and integrate enterprise communications functionalities into their app, website, or any voice communications system faster and easier than previous APIs.
Avaya updates its product portfolio with the release of the newest version of its contact center platform.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, reports that Avaya was filing bankruptcy and selling off its call center solution surfaced. Avaya quickly dispelled such rumors, though, with the introduction of Avaya IP Office Contact Center 10, the latest version of its contact center solution. Specifically designed for small to medium-sized enterprises, Avaya IP Office Contact Center 10 is a robust omnichannel contact center application that aims to help businesses create a seamless customer journey.
Cloud contact center adoption increases.
A research study conducted by hosted VoIP solutions provider 8x8 revealed that more contact centers are recognizing the value of the cloud. The survey, entitled "Cloud Contact Centers Gaining Share," found that as much as 25% of the respondents have fully shifted to the cloud; 28% have made a partial transition; while 21% have plans to move to the cloud. Given these findings, it’s no longer surprising why many providers are developing their own cloud contact center solutions to get their piece of the pie.
BroadSoft shows immense growth with the introduction of its new apps and acquisition of VoIP Logic.
To address the needs of mobile enterprise users, trusted cloud innovator and contact center provider BroadSoft has released its simple yet comprehensive cloud platform that aims to help organizations work smarter and better, BroadSoft Business. The platform is composed of enterprise-ready cloud PBX, collaboration, unified communications, and contact center applications. Aside from releasing new solutions, BroadSoft further gave its portfolio a boost by acquiring VoIP Logic, a managed VoIP systems and solutions provider. This move was seen as part of BroadSoft’s strategy to widen its reach and address smaller, local markets.
Nextiva seeks to remedy business communications crisis.
This year, Nextiva also unveiled its newest solution designed to address the communications crisis in workplaces: the NextOS platform. NextOS, which was announced during Nextiva’s annual business and technology conference, combines the essential communication, collaboration, and engagement tools teams and organizations need in a single, easy-to-use platform.
Providers realize the increasing importance of team collaboration.
As today’s modern workforce become increasingly mobile, the need for a robust solution that allows teams and employees to collaborate with ease has also soared. This is why various cloud communications provider today has jumped into the team collaboration market and released their own solutions. RingCentral re-launched Glip, BroadSoft has Team-One, and Mitel, with MiTeam.
Genesys and Interactive Intelligence merge.
The contact center space saw another consolidation with the merger of former rivals Genesys and Interactive Intelligence. Announced in August 2016, the deal was finally completed earlier this month. While the combined company has yet to announce any new products or solutions, experts agree that the merger is a wise move as it brings together Genesys’ huge installed base and Interactive Intelligence’s out of the box cloud solutions.
From surprising corporate moves to promising product developments, 2016 was indeed a busy year for cloud enterprise communications. Although only time will tell what trends and events will emerge in the upcoming year, it's safe to say that the industry will get even more interesting as it builds on the trends and developments that 2016 has brought.