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News and analysis of developments in the enterprise communication industry and market with primary focus on Europe.

The author aims to tap into ideas, insights and thoughts of the readers to get varied perspectives.

Views expressed in this blog are solely the author's opinion and in no way reflect those of his employer.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Avaya acquires Ubiquity

A Purchase Towards Ubiquitous Services

An anticipated acquisition which places Avaya in a stronger position with potential to break into the carrier space….

Buying a creamy piece of another pie:

Ubiquity, a Cardiff based SIP application server vendor has been the torch bearer of session initiation protocol (SIP) and internet protocol multimedia subsystem (IMS). The company credits itself with a rigorously tried and tested SIP services platform, pursuing the case for ubiquitous IMS platform that would virtually enable all carrier grade applications.

Why the Acquisition Makes Sense:

While the broadband revolution takes place, telcos are re-aligning their strategies and re-architecting their networks. There is a growing prominence of Ethernet in the last mile and an extensive use of MPLS in the wireline space. Investments in 3G and other wireless high speed broadband technologies continue. These have created a huge market opportunity for next-generation delivery platforms such as SIP and IMS application servers. Studies (ours?) forecast an opportunity in excess of $5 billion by 2009.

SIP capability is the prerequisite for almost all next generation services that includes services such as virtual PBX, hosted voice, hosted speech, multi-modal applications, IP centrex, and multi-media collaboration. As IP gains ground the case for these services becomes stronger. In the last three years carriers and large enterprises have made significant investments in IP Centrex and hosted voice services.

Other pieces of the pie

In the SIP and IMS application server market, Broadsoft, Sylantro, Netcentrex (now acquired by Comverse) compete with Ubiquity. With the growing prominence of centrex type services, these vendors are seeing increased traction from the carriers.

The SDP is a prerequisite to offering enterprise hosted services, which in Europe alone could be around $7.9 billion in revenues by 2011. To this end we have seen the acquisition of Netcentrex by Comverse (a billing and messaging vendor) and HotSip by Oracle (an enterprise database vendor). Hence, given Avaya’s strong hold in the enterprise space combined with its vision to lead the communication industry, the acquisition makes perfect sense.

The merged entity:

Avaya stands to gain from access to Ubiquity’s technological edge in SIP and IMS application server space. Ubiquity’s programmable SIP server can easily be considered to be the best in the industry, and one of the most experienced.

Avaya has announced that the Ubiquity’s team will help them build a single software application development platform for both enterprises and carriers.

This being said, it remains to be seen if Avaya has any plans to enter for the carrier market. This can be argued since Mitel Networks (founded by Terry Mathews), a competitor to Avaya didn’t grab Ubiquity (funded by Celtic House that is affiliated to Terry Mathews) although the SIP vendor’s strengths have been well known. In case they do, there is a potential threat that telcos might see them as a potential competitor (read ISV) instead of being a supplier or partner. This threat is currently dispelled by Avaya announcing that the motive behind the acquisition is to move to the software application development world, which is bolstered by the fact that Ubiquity’s web services expertise can be used to develop solutions for a large section of enterprise users in the all IP world.

Ubiquity is considered as the leader in the service delivery platform (SDP) and in the IMS space, with affiliation to almost all major entities in this industry. Its tier 1 carrier customers include AT&T, Bell Canada, British Telecom and Global Crossing. Till now, it is credited to have 12 named carrier accounts including ISPs and another 120 carriers in trials and discussions. On one hand this shows the promise of the vendor while on the other explains how nascent the market is. In addition to these carriers, Ubiquity has entered into partnerships with Microsoft, Lucent and Huawei amongst others.

Ubiquity is a publicly traded company listed in the London Stock Exchange since May 2005. Before then it was funded by Celtic House, a venture capital firm affiliated to the leading technologist, entrepreneur and a successful venture capitalist Terry Mathews who has founded Newbridge Networks and Mitel Networks. Newbridge Networks, a leader in ATM technology was acquired by Alcatel. Mitel Networks is a leading IP infrastructure vendor for the enterprise market.

1 comment:

Maria said...

Great information . Do yo have information about digital to voip and Centrex Broadsoft and what is the features and services of these product.