8×8 buys Contactual, Dan York leaves Voxeo


Guess which piece of news came as a shocker?

Dan York, master tweeter and Director of Conversations at Voxeo, will join the nonprofit organization Internet Society (“ISOC”) starting next week, to “join the fight for the open Internet“:

The particular project I will join within ISOC is a brand new initiative targeted at helping bridge the gap between the standards created within the IETF and the network operators and enterprises who are actually deploying networks and technologies based on those standards. To help translate those standards into operational guidance… to help people understand how to deploy those standards and why they should, what benefit they will see, etc

The initiative is currently called the “Deployment and Operationalization Hub”, or “DO Hub”, and while that may or may not be its final name, the idea is to find/curate content that is already out there created by others, create content where there are gaps, make it easy to distribute information about these resources… and promote the heck out of it so that people get connected to the resources that they need. The initial focus will be, somewhat predictably, on IPv6, but also DNSSEC and possibly another technology. It is a new project and the focus is being very deliberately kept tight to see how effective this can be,

My title will be Senior Content Strategist and my role will very much be about the creation, curation and distribution of information. Writing articles, reviewing resources, blogging, creating videos, screencasts, etc, Once we have the initial repository built out, there will be a phase next year where we will be out on the conference circuit talking about these technologies and helping people understand how they can get started… and continually adding even more content.

ISOC, consider yourself very lucky! Best of luck, Dan, and keep those blogs and tweets comin’ — open Internet FTW!

…in other industry news, 8×8 has acquired Contactual in an all-stock deal to bolster its cloud solutions. (Is there a company today that doesn’t go through M&A except for “cloud”?) Press release:

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Sept. 12, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 8×8, Inc. (Nasdaq:EGHT), provider of innovative cloud communications and computing solutions, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Contactual, Inc., a provider of cloud-based call center and customer interaction management solutions, in an all stock transaction that will not exceed 6.7 million shares of common stock of 8×8. 8×8 expects the transaction to close prior to September 30, 2011. 8×8 has been successfully reselling Contactual’s call center technologies as part of its business communications services since 2007 and has seen strong, escalating demand for these services across the 8×8 customer base.

The acquisition of Contactual will further enhance 8×8’s growing suite of cloud services, bolstering its unique position in the market as a single source provider of SaaS (Software as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) business solutions, in keeping with its previously stated strategic growth initiatives. Contactual’s revenue for calendar year 2010 was approximately $8.3 million, inclusive of approximately 10% of revenue received from 8×8. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to 8×8’s full fiscal year net income after the exclusion of any one-time costs associated with the acquisition and amortization expenses.

Contactual Call Center solutions will be offered as a resale opportunity to all 8×8 channel partners as part of the company’s recently launched go-to-market channel program which provides partners with the ability to resell a broad range of cloud based services. Currently, 8×8 offers more than 20 cloud services including VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), Conferencing, Video and Cloud Computing.

“8×8 is committed to becoming the industry’s premier provider of cloud-based communications and mission critical services and applications to businesses of all sizes,” said Bryan Martin, Chairman and CEO of 8×8. “The acquisition of Contactual is a natural extension of this strategy as it significantly broadens our technological expertise and service offerings in the customer interaction management and contact center space. At the same time, the acquisition allows us to realize operational cost savings and enhanced customer satisfaction resulting from the tighter integration of the Contactual technology platform within 8×8’s services and network.”

Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Contactual provides small businesses and enterprise departments with an efficient way to improve customer satisfaction while lowering costs. Contactual’s patented OnDemand Contact Center decouples the call center from the physical constraints of on-premise equipment, empowering companies to deploy agents anywhere there is an Internet connection. By giving clients the ability to break their long-standing dependency on telephony and hardware, the Contactual solution lowers operating costs, improves customer and agent satisfaction, and speeds workflow through faster provisioning and advanced reporting. Contactual has customers ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small and medium businesses, and distribution partners serving the U.S, Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia.

“Today, many of our largest customers are already subscribing to hosted call center services utilizing the Contactual platform, and we are seeing increased demand for these services from our large, channel-originated prospective customers,” said Martin. “The Contactual solution has been proven in enterprise deployments with 8×8’s communications services for more than four years and incorporates a world class user interface, rich multimedia feature set and outstanding reliability metrics. With the complete integration of this offering under one software and services platform, we will now be more fully integrating these capabilities into our existing services, and also be able to build even more competitively priced call center capabilities for our small business customer base.”

In a recent Frost & Sullivan report on the hosted contact center industry, the market research firm stated, “Frost & Sullivan believes that the hosted contact center market is moving quickly out of the early adopter stage, with immense growth potential for the future. Based on our most current research, Frost & Sullivan forecasts overall hosted revenues to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.1% from 2009 through 2013. For small seat deployments (< 100 seats) alone, this aggressive growth is forecasted at an even higher CAGR of 41.3% for the same period.”

About 8×8, Inc.

8×8, Inc. (Nasdaq:EGHT), a pioneer in the development of cloud-based VoIP, video, mobile, and unified communications solutions, leverages its patented software technologies to deliver industry-leading SaaS applications to businesses of any size with employees in any location. We offer integrated business communications and cloud computing services that are designed to meet the highest levels of availability, reliability and scalability. Increasingly, businesses are finding they can reduce costs, improve productivity, and be positioned competitively for the future by choosing 8×8 for their mission critical, cloud-based communications and computing needs. For additional information, visit www.8×8.com, or connect with 8×8 on Facebook and Twitter.

Forward Looking Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements include, without limitation, information about future events based on current expectations, potential product development efforts, near and long-term objectives, potential new business, strategies, organization changes, changing markets, future business performance and outlook. Such statements are predictions only, and actual events or results could differ materially from those made in any forward-looking statements due to a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results and trends may differ materially from historical results or those projected in any such forward-looking statements depending on a variety of factors. These factors include, but are not limited to, the possibility that we and Contactual may be unable to achieve expected synergies and other benefits from the proposed transaction within the expected time-frames or at all, integration of the operations of Contactual with our own may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected, revenues of the combined business following the transaction may be lower than expected, our ability to retain key employees of 8×8 and Contactual subsequent to the completion of the transaction, the conditions to the completion of the transaction may not be satisfied, customer acceptance and demand for our products and services, the reliability of our services, the prices for our services, customer renewal rates, customer acquisition costs, actions by our competitors, including price reductions for their telephone services, potential federal and state regulatory actions, compliance costs, potential warranty claims and product defects, our needs for and the availability of adequate working capital, our ability to innovate technologically, the timely supply of products by our contract manufacturers, potential future intellectual property infringement claims that could adversely affect our business and operating results, and our ability to retain our listing on the NASDAQ Capital Market. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see “Risk Factors” in the Company’s reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, as well as other reports that 8×8, Inc. files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and 8×8, Inc. undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement for any reason, except as required by law, even as new information becomes available or other events occur in the future.

CONTACT: Joan Citelli

         joan.citelli@8x8.com

         (408) 654-0970

Source: 8×8, Inc.

News Provided by Acquire Media

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