- September 1, 2016
- Posted by: Lantre Barr
- Category: Articles
What Plans Might Siris Have for Communications?
In the past year Siris Capital Group has been strategically acquiring communication companies around the world. Latest company to come into their crosshairs is Polycom.
Polycom originally entered into a deal with Mitel to combine the two companies in a $2 billion merger, but like a swift wind on a cold day in Chicago, Siris Capital Group swept in to acquire Polycom for $2 billion in cash instead. That move poses a few questions that will probably get answered in the coming months: Who else was Mitel vetting as a target merger or acquisition candidate? And how will Mitel’s strategy change now that Polycom is off the market?
In addition to their acquisition of Polycom in July, Siris Capital Group also acquired Xura, the recently merged Comverse and Acision communications provider, in May for $643M in cash. To add to this list, Siris acquired the Atlanta based company PGi (Premiere Global Services) in September of 2015, who specialize in providing collaboration solutions for business, for an unknown amount.
So just what is Siris Capital Group up to? Well, there is certainly a trend of large companies making key acquisitions to strengthen their footprint in the Communications as a Service (CaaS) market.
Cisco, Microsoft and Vonage are a few making big bets that this market will continue to grow at an expediential rate. Microsoft just recently acquired LinkedIn for $26 billion back in June and Vonage acquired Nexmo, a cloud communications platform, for $250 million in early May.
Is Siris Capital Group looking to enter the market by incorporating hardware from Polycom, communications from Xura and software from PGi? It seems like Siris Capital Group is playing chess and maybe close to putting the communications industry in “checkmate” by entering the Communications Gold Rush?
This week Call center software maker Genesys Telecommunications announced its acquisition of rival firm Interactive Intelligence Group for roughly $1.4 billion. Interactive Intelligence Group sells cloud-based software for call centers, but with a strong focus customer experience, so presumably Genesys wants to use Interactive Intelligence Group’s software, particularly its PureCloud product, to broaden its own portfolio amid a shifting communications landscape.
As I’ve said before, I believe traditional telephony will fade away to become what we call “Smart Communications” and that revolution will be led by companies like Twilio, Nexmo, and perhaps Siris, who provide innovative ways to enhance communications.
WebRTC, in particular, gives us the ability to communicate in smarter more efficient ways by adding real-time communications capabilities to applications through the use of live audio and video streaming, screen sharing, secure document sharing, traditional telephony integration and much more.
In my opinion, mobile apps also present one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to deliver cross-channel engagement. Brands care about keeping consumers engaged with their website or app, and one of the best ways of doing that is by providing your customers with a rich, connected communications experience. With smart communication functionality built directly into their app or website, a brand can keep consumers connected and more importantly engaged.
That is why “Smart Communications” has become mission critical for companies by offering value to many aspects of business, including customer service, training and internal communications. When you look at the success of online influencers such as Snapchat have made their name through online video and messaging, it’s also clear that there is a demand for better visual communications, which can be accessed remotely online and on the go.
It has certainly been an exciting year for the communications industry so far and with four more months to go, anything can happen.
I predict that there will be a few more key acquisitions taking place in the industry before the year is up, particularly when companies like Twilio continue to demonstrate such strong growth. As a result, I believe we will start to see more and more movement from large players, like Siris, looking to capitalize on the communications market. I look forward to seeing how everyone else reacts to that.
About Blacc Spot Media, Inc.
Blacc Spot Media focuses on Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) development across web, mobile, native desktop and telephony implementations. Our team works on strategic projects developing custom applications, enterprise platforms and mobile applications for a wide array of clients. If you are interested developing your own WebRTC product or service, let us know how we can help you.