West is having a field day in this economy picking up sweet deals in the communications and contact center space. In May 2010 it was Holly Connects, soon followed by TuVox in July, and this month it’s Smoothstone.
West is big in the contact center outsourcing market, but it wants to expand by offering more products and services. Holly Connects gave it an IVR platform, and TuVox gave it on-demand IVR speech applications.
Now it sees the red hot unified communications market and wants a bigger piece of that action. Smoothstone fits right in, offering products and services in voice, contact center, UC, and collaboration — cloud-based at that. I’m sure West doesn’t mind seeing “cloud” mentioned in there somewhere. Based on its recent 1Q2011 earnings, UC is where the money is so it’s not surprising to see the company move in to fortify its UC portfolio.
To me West is starting to look like GE, turning into a conglomerate of sorts. West now has a long list of businesses and divisions from its many acquisitions, and with that quite a few product and service offerings. Does it face consolidation and branding challenges? Most likely, but it hasn’t slowed West down one bit.
The official press release:
OMAHA, NE and LOUISVILLE, KY, April 20, 2011 – West Corporation, a leading provider of technology-driven, voice and data solutions, and Smoothstone IP Communications, a leading provider of cloud-based communications solutions for the enterprise, today jointly announced that they have entered into an agreement whereby West will acquire Smoothstone. The acquisition adds to West’s expanding unified communications (UC) business, which includes InterCall.
Smoothstone develops and delivers highly flexible and scalable solutions for clients’ next-generation IP telephony needs. As enterprises upgrade their voice and data infrastructure, Smoothstone offers software-driven applications that exist in the cloud and are delivered through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Smoothstone applications and services reduce the costs, risks and uncertainties of deploying new IP technology. Smoothstone’s solutions combine to bring the benefits of unified IP communications to enterprises quickly and reliably.
“Smoothstone’s expertise at delivering cloud-based unified communications solutions is unrivaled,” said Todd Strubbe, president of West’s Unified Communications operating segment. “By leveraging Smoothstone’s unique solution portfolio and the benefits of the cloud-based services delivery model, our clients will be able to focus on business initiatives that help drive their competitive advantage rather than on evolving IT infrastructure.”
“Smoothstone has developed cloud-based solutions that enable enterprises to migrate from legacy infrastructures to next generation applications and services, including application-aware MPLS networks, VoIP services, Unified Threat Management, Unified Messaging, mobile integration and advanced Contact Center solutions,” said Jeff Wellemeyer, co-founder and president of Smoothstone. “Our focus has always been on providing enterprise clients with a breadth of solutions and a level of service that they are simply not able to get from any other provider. We are pleased to be joining the West family of companies as we share a common passion for delivering exceptional service to clients. Our team and I look forward to continuing to serve clients and grow this business.”
Smoothstone was the recipient of Frost & Sullivan’s 2010 award for Competitive Strategy Innovation in Hosted IP Telephony and UC Services for North America. This prestigious award recognizes Smoothstone’s best-in-class strategy to manage growth, innovation and leadership in the dynamic IP communications market. Frost & Sullivan commented on the award by stating: “Smoothstone’s innovative competitive strategy has allowed it to service its customers in a very efficient and cost-effective manner. Through its unique technological platform and customized bundling solutions, as well as an extensive partner program, Smoothstone is poised to capture a growing share of this market.”
West will pay approximately $120 million to acquire Smoothstone. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011 after satisfaction of certain closing conditions, including customary regulatory approvals. Upon completion of the acquisition, Smoothstone will become a part of West’s Unified Communications operating segment. The Smoothstone product portfolio will be available to West’s wide base of clients, adding cloud-based IP telephony to a growing list of West’s unified communications solutions. Smoothstone will continue to offer its full portfolio of applications and services and will continue in its mission to help leading enterprises transform the way they communicate.
Other benefits of the Smoothstone solution include:
- Faster deployment times compared to traditional, on-premises deployments
- Ongoing technology refresh that keeps up with a rapidly evolving UC market
- Ease of integration into business processes and enterprise applications
- Elimination of the burden of managing communications infrastructure and services, allowing resources to be focused on more strategic initiatives
“West’s commitment to the high-growth unified communications industry is clearly demonstrated with this and our other recent acquisitions in the space. West now claims a leadership position in unified communications with a broad, unique and reliable set of products. By leveraging the InterCall global distribution model with our long-term client relationships, West’s opportunity for growth is improved as a result of these acquisitions,” said Tom Barker, CEO, West Corporation.
About West Corporation
West Corporation is a leading provider of technology-driven, voice and data solutions. West offers its clients a broad range of communications and network infrastructure solutions that help them manage or support critical communications. West’s customer contact solutions and conferencing services are designed to improve its clients’ cost structure and provide reliable, high-quality services. West also provides mission-critical services, such as public safety and emergency communications.
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, West serves Fortune 1000 companies and other clients in a variety of industries, including telecommunications, banking, retail, financial, technology and healthcare. West has sales and operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America. For more information on West Corporation, please call 1-800-841-9000 or visitwww.west.com.
InterCall, a subsidiary of West Corporation, is the largest conference and collaborations service provider in the world and a leading provider of global cloud-based unified communications services. Founded in 1991, InterCall offers telephony, messaging, conferencing and collaboration tools for businesses of all sizes, from large global enterprises to small or regional companies. With a global footprint and broad service capabilities, InterCall’s flexible models for hosted, managed and on-premises communications services help companies get the most out of their business processes.
InterCall’s strong U.S. presence, including four call centers and 26 sales offices, is bolstered by operations in Canada, Mexico, Latin America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. For more information, please visit www.intercall.com.
Smoothstone IP Communications is the leading provider of cloud based communications for the enterprise – including MPLS-based application network management, enterprise voice, unified threat management, advanced contact center solutions, unified messaging and collaboration tools-all delivered as a unified suite of cloud-based applications. Smoothstone’s scalable, on-demand applications and services can be integrated with a customer’s existing network and telecommunications infrastructure, operational processes, and employee activities, enabling a customer to migrate to unified IP communications as their business requirements dictate. For more information, visit www.smoothstone.com or call 1-800-773-3037.
At West Corporation: