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M&A carries on in unified comms space

The consolidation seen last year in the unified communications (UC) industry showed no signs of slowing down in the first week of 2018, with MA announcements issued by companies including Polycom and West.

Polycom will acquire Obihai Technology, a VoIP software and hardware provider based in California. The company will use the acquisition to raise its competitiveness in the global voice market.

Mary McDowell, Polycom CEO, said that the move “will immediately open new markets and revenue opportunities for Polycom.” The firm expects to add more cloud-based capabilities and Analogue Terminal Adaptor solutions to its portfolio at the completion of the deal this quarter, expanding its available markets.

Star rises over Europe

North American Star2Star will move into Europe through a merger with Dublin-based UCaaS provider Blueface, in a $500 million deal. The combined company, known as StarBlue, will have over 500 employees and be based in the USA.

Analysts say that the merger will help Star2Star serve the European market, while enjoying a competitive advantage over smaller providers; however, it will still need to compete with large players like 8×8 and Mitel.

Star2Star uses a hybrid architecture, promising ‘high reliability’ over low-speed networks. Its brand recognition is low due to its channel-only sales approach.

West eases app creation through acquisition

West Corp. acquired PhoneTree, both of which serve the healthcare market. PhoneTree provides automated appointment reminder services and patient communication software, which will be merged into West’s Interactive Services Healthcare business.

Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research, told TechTarget: “By acquiring PhoneTree, West can offer packaged customer-facing messaging solutions that compete with CPaaS vendors that often require customers to build their own apps.”

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