ClearOne Buys Spontania to Add Cloud to Video Conferencing Lineup

Spontania's technology will complement ClearOne's current on-premises video communications portfolio.

ClearOne is bringing cloud capabilities to its video conferencing product portfolio with the planned $5 million acquisition of Spontania.

ClearOne, which announced the deal Jan. 8, is buying Spontania from Spain-based Dialcom Networks, a move that officials said will help expand the reach of ClearOne's existing premises-based, all-software enterprise video conferencing solution, Collaborate.

"This acquisition will position ClearOne to address a broad range of needs in the rapidly growing desktop and mobile video communications markets," ClearOne Chairman and CEO Zee Hakimoglu said in a statement. "ClearOne can now offer its partners and end users a clear choice between public cloud, private cloud and on-premise solutions for video collaboration along with our industry-leading voice solutions."

Spontania offers group video conferencing software that not only allows participants to see and talk with each other, but also to share documents, presentations and desktop information that they can work on in a shared way, according to the company's Website. It's also designed to make it easy to schedule, start or join a conference, and to use such communications applications as chat and instant messaging.

Spotania's technology can work with other standards-based collaboration platforms, runs on multiple platforms and supports a range of devices, from smartphones and tablets running Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems to PCs running Windows, Linux and Mac.

ClearOne sells a range of communications products, from video conferencing and unified communications offerings to microphones, audio solutions and streaming systems.

With the increase in worker mobility and mobile devices sales, as well as trends like bring your own device (BYOD), there is rapidly growing demand for video conferencing solutions that can run on multiple systems, from smartphones and tablets to notebooks and desktops. Video conferencing equipment sales, from such vendors as Cisco Systems and Polycom, continue to slow as more organizations opt for lower-cost and software-only solutions, according to IDC analysts.

In the third quarter of 2013, video conferencing equipment revenue fell 9.7 percent from the same period in 2012, IDC found. However, interest in video conferencing is still keen, according to Petr Jirovsky, research manager of IDC's Worldwide Networking Trackers unit.

"Video as a key component of collaboration continues to place high on the list of priorities for many organizations," Jirovsky said in a statement when the third-quarter numbers were released. "IDC believes that among the challenges customers are currently trying to work through are exactly when and how to provision their video deployments, as more software-centric solutions and video cloud service offerings become part of the enterprise video market landscape."