BroadSoft Boosts VOIP with App Server from Genband
BroadSoft buys Genband's application server business to boost its VOIP enterprise applications. While Skype focuses primarily on bringing VOIP to more than 300 million consumers, BroadSoft sells its apps to telcos such as Verizon and Sprint. BroadSoft's buy comes a month after BT bought VOIP provider Ribbit for $105 million.Enterprise VOIP specialist BroadSoft Aug. 27 acquired the M6 Communication Applications Server and the product's associated customer base from IP gateway supplier Genband. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, but BroadSoft said the purchase will help bring its BroadWorks voice over IP applications, which include hosted telephony and multimedia services, to more telecommunications companies. This assortment of wireless, wireline and cable carriers use the VOIP apps to bring voice and multimedia apps to their customers.
BroadSoft's buy will bring its customer base to 435 companies, which includes Korea Telecom, KPN, SingTel, Sprint, Telstra and Verizon.
BroadSoft said the buy is also the start of a long-term partnership with Genband, with which it will work on network transformation projects. These ventures will allow customers to bundle voice, data and Web-based services across an IP network.
BroadSoft and Genband have both planted stakes in the idea that traditional phone network services are moving to the Internet. Some businesses are looking to replace their cable-based system with IP-based systems, using VOIP client apps as the method for users to communicate over PCs.
Skype offers VOIP services for businesses, though it is unclear how many enterprises have adopted what is considered a consumer-oriented application.
Classic telco carriers are also eying pieces of the VOIP pie. Just last month, BT acquired VOIP software startup Ribbit for $105 million.
Ribbit's apps complements BT's W21C SDK (software development kit) initiative, in which the group's 9,000 developers integrate new applications with BT's services using a single line of code.
More broadly, this effort is part of BT's 21CN (21st Century Network) initiative, a move to migrate its telephone network from its present PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) to an IP system.
Indeed, BT is betting that many of us will turn to the Web as our chief voice platform. Just as traditional software vendors are forced to consider SAAS (software as a service) to complement their on-premise apps, traditional telcos are offering VOIP networks to complement cable and wireless technologies.
If more people start to use the Internet as their primary voice communications vehicle, VOIP will become a major money machine, which is surprising to me why nobody has acquired Skype.
Oh wait, eBay did, three years ago. Why do I always forget that? Maybe because eBay has no business owning Skype and everyone knows it.
Anyway, I expect BroadSoft to get acquired by a telco carrier that wants own its VOIP infrastructure and the apps running on top of them.