This Month in Telecom is a monthly news round-up on VoipReview.org that aims to give our readers a fast and easy way to catch up on the latest news and top stories that are trending in the voice and telecommunications space. Check in every month to find out more about stories you may have missed in regards to new companies, mergers, trends, and other telecom advancements.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories in telecom for the month of January.
Star2Star Communications and Blueface Announce $500m Merger
Telecom mergers and acquisitions continue into the new year with the merger announcement of US-based hybrid cloud communications company Star2Star Communications, and the Dublin-headquartered communications company Blueface. The deal, which is valued at $500million, will form one of the world’s top 5 Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) providers known as “StarBlue.”
According to Blueface CEO Alan Foy, “ The merger of Blueface and Star2Star represents a game-changing event in the unified communications as a service (UCaaS) landscape as it combines the best of proprietary UCaaS technology with an expansive geographic distribution, capability and reach". "In the not too distant future, we shall bring further enhanced innovation-led offerings across a full spectrum of products to our partners and customers and to the wider market which leverages the best of both companies’ capabilities and talent."
Star2Star CEO Norman Worthington, for his part, said that “The merger of our two companies is a fine example of how two businesses with a similar entrepreneurial culture can work together to challenge the marketplace with an unrivaled full spectrum offering ranging from hybrid to hosted with an array of value added features and services. This merger of Star2Star and Blueface creates a combined company with the breadth of capability, reach and innovation to be a true global leader in the UC space.”
Following the deal, both companies will retain their existing trading names and headquarters in their respective markets. Star2Star CEO Norman Worthington will become Executive Chairman of Star2Star and Blueface, while current Blueface CEO Alan Foy will also become CEO of Star2Star and Group CEO of StarBlue.
Advantrix Taps Unified Office to Enable Global Expansion
Trusted medical billing company Advantrix Corporation announced earlier this month that it has tapped Unified Office’s Total Connect Now SM (TCNSM) suite of services to help them easily expand their global business footprint. Having remote employees and offices worldwide, Advantrix required a reliable business communications platform to connect their teams. The company explored a number of phone systems and unified communications solutions for more than a year and concluded that Unified Office’s TCNSM service offerings proved to best fit their needs.
Ray Pasquale, CEO and Founder of Unified Office expressed his excitement over Advantrix’ latest move, saying, “We are very happy to have passed the test for Advantrix, a leader in the medical billing marketplace.” “Unified Office provides Fortune 500 grade highly configurable, simple to use innovative communications service offerings that can be tailored to any audience that in turn creates extraordinary value for our customers. Because we are also a 24 by 7 managed service company, we eliminate the finger pointing that is typical when dealing with multiple vendors and or service providers in the marketplace,” said Pasquale.
Enghouse Interactive Rolls Out Contact Center: Enterprise Version 9.1
To meet the fast changing business needs of modern contact centers, Enghouse Interactive, a leader in customer contact solutions, recently introduced the latest release of its omni-channel contact center platform, the Contact Center: Enterprise (CCE) 9.1.
CCE evolved as a result of Enghouse Interactive’s efforts to continuously improve and innovate their offerings, as well as from the feedback of its partners and customers. The latest release of CCE includes a range of enhancements, including the integration of TouchPoint, the visual and contextual interface the company developed for contact center agents. John Cray, VP of Product Management, Enghouse Interactive, said that “By integrating our TouchPoint interface with CCE 9.1, customers and partners that need the high scalability and reliability of CCE now have access to a modern, highly graphical, best-in-class user experience for their agents.” . “And with TouchPoint available across different Enghouse platforms, a customer could migrate from one to another, with no agent retraining at all. This provides complete choice for our customers and partners,” he stated.
Additional features include: advanced wrap-ups, spell check in multiple languages, visual IVR integration, web chat conferencing, support for Skype for Business 2015, and more.
West Unified Communication Services Achieves Cisco® Powered Cisco Spark Service Provider Accreditation
Following West’s recent recognition as a Cisco Partner Summit Geographical Region award-winner for Service Provider of the Year, the company announced that they have attained the Cisco® Powered Cisco Spark Service Provider accreditation as part of Cisco’s Cloud and Managed Services Program (CMSP)--the first provider to do so.
West Unified Communications Services is a global provider of communication and network infrastructure services. Its latest accreditation further distinguishes the company in the market and showcases its elite level of expertise in deploying Cisco Spark. Randy McGraw, Senior Vice President of Technology and Operational Services for West’s Unified Communications Services, expressed his excitement in a release, saying, “As the first Cisco partner to participate in the audit process to achieve the Cisco Powered Spark Service Provider designation, we feel this demonstrates our ability to lead in the marketplace and reinforces the value we bring to our customers through operational expertise, architecture, process, delivery and back-end support.”
Mitel Announces Rebranded Portfolio of Solutions for the North American Market
After completing its acquisition of ShoreTel, Mitel, the global leader in business communications, recently unveiled its rebranded portfolio of communications solutions for the North American Market.
Mitel’s rebranded portfolio offers businesses simple, reliable, and enterprise-grade communications and collaboration solutions. These include:
Retail UCaaS Solutions
- MiCloud Connect (previously ShoreTel Connect CLOUD) with Teamwork and Contact Center
- MiCloud Flex (previously Mitel MiCloud Enterprise) with MiCollab and MiCloud Contact Center
- MiVoice Office 250 with Phone Manager applications
- MiVoice Connect (previously ShoreTel Connect ONSITE) with Connect UC and Contact Center
- MiVoice Business with MiCollab and MiContact Center Business
"North American businesses are rapidly moving to the cloud, but they are not all doing it at the same pace or with the same configuration. Our customers need choice and a clear technology path forward," said Bob Agnes President and Executive Vice President of Products and Solutions, Mitel. "Mitel's portfolio is purpose-built to provide maximum choice and flexibility to meet customers' immediate needs, solve their business problems, and move them ahead-where ever they are in their journey."
Avaya Scoops Up CCaaS Provider Spoken Communications
Global business communications giant Avaya continues on its growth path with its recent acquisition of Spoken Communications, a leading Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) provider based in Seattle. Announced on Monday, the latest transaction includes more than 170 patents and patent applications and will be funded by cash on hand. Terms of the deal were not disclosed; however, the acquisition is expected to close by the second quarter of this year.
With the acquisition, Avaya is better equipped to assist its large contact center customer base to enjoy a seamless migration to the cloud. Avaya customers will also be able to take advantage of Spoken’s specialized agent quality software applications and services, as well as Spoken’s IntelligentWire contact center automation solutions. IntelligentWire taps artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies on live voice conversations to better understand customer sentiment and experience and drive more intelligent responses.