Vonage Climbs Up the Market Share Ladder
Apr 07, 2015
Where it all Began
It was only a year and a half ago when Vonage made a foray into the business cloud communications market through the acquisition of Vocalocity, one of the top 10 North American cloud communications providers. This resulted in the creation of Vonage Business Solutions (VBS), currently targeting SOHOs and very small businesses. Only a year after the first acquisition, Vonage acquired another cloud communications provider, Telesphere, which gave Vonage a foothold in the small and medium-size (SMB) market. Telesphere brought to Vonage an installed base of about 60Kto 70K users on BroadSoft’s leading hosted private exchange (PBX) and unified communications and collaboration (UCC) platform. With the acquisition, Vonage also gained access to Telesphere’s network of channel partners. I wrote a detailed analysis of the acquisition in a blog from November 2014.
SimpleSignal Brings More Value to Vonage
Yesterday, March 16, 2015, Vonage announced the acquisition of SimpleSignal, another leading U.S. cloud communications provider and recipient of Frost & Sullivan’s 2013 Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award in the North American hosted IP telephony and UCC Services Market.
With over 30,000 installed seats at the end of 2013, SimpleSignal earned a spot among the top 20 hosted IP telephony providers in North America. SimpleSignal has grown consistently over the years with reported annual growth rates of about 30 percent, which is in line with industry average rates.
SimpleSignal’s innovative and continually expanding features and capabilities, flexible integrations with third-party applications, strong focus on service quality, and a channel-centric approach are among the factors driving its success. Also important, SimpleSignal stands out from the crowd of providers that approach the SMB market with a low-touch model in terms of post-sale customer support. Nimble and customer-oriented, SimpleSignal delivers enhanced customer value and superior customer service and support.
SimpleSignal places a great focus on the reliability of its hosted communications system. It strives to avoid service disruptions through geographically redundant data centers in California and Colorado which are designed for automatic failover and constant monitoring of edge router performance. The SimpleSignal service runs over a multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) network for guaranteed QoS, and also gives customers the option to bring their own bandwidth to deploy the company’s hosted PBX service over existing or preferred broadband access networks.
SimpleSignal demonstrates full accountability by sharing its daily network performance statistics on its website. It reported high availability in the past couple of years. In 2013, the company reported 6 nines (99.9999) of network uptime, which is a considerable accomplishment in the hosted communications industry.
SimpleSignal offers a broad set of applications and services, including: PBX; conferencing; messaging; presence; mobility; call recording; and more. It is one of few hosted UC providers to deploy its own video infrastructure in order to deliver cost-effective video services to SMBs. It delivers video to iPads, laptops, as well as interoperability with Cisco and LifeSize equipment. At a compelling price of $30 per seat per month, SimpleSignal makes video accessible to even the most cost-conscious organizations.
SimpleSignal offers greater value to customers through open APIs and flexible integrations with other cloud and premises-based applications such as Salesforce.com, ACT!, and Microsoft Outlook. It also offers website call-back buttons, voice-to-text messaging, and more. SimpleSignal supports integration of its cloud PBX services with GoogleApps and thus enables SimpleSignal customers to manage their calls, conferences, and presence from within Google applications. SimpleSignal also offers Unity Desktop for call control and a Reception Console for more efficient call management.
SimpleSignal provides several options for Lync integration including basic SIP trunking, SIP trunking with hosted PBX features, and a fully managed hosted Lync integrated with SimpleSignal’s hosted PBX.
A Look Ahead
As a result of the recent acquisitions, Vonage is now among the top 5 cloud communications providers in North America. Going forward, Vonage will be able to target a broad range of business organizations with appropriately designed and priced cloud communications options. VBS is best positioned to offer simple, price-competitive solutions to very small businesses, utilizing primarily Vonage’s direct sales force. The Telesphere and SimpleSignal solutions portfolios (both based on BroadSoft’s platform) will be integrated and optimized to address the needs of SMB customers and will be marketed and delivered leveraging the newly acquired channel partner networks. Annual recurring cost synergies from the SimpleSignal acquisition are expected to exceed $1.7 million in 2016 (according to Vonage’s press release). Overall, through its aggressive growth strategy Vonage has become a formidable competitor in the rapidly growing cloud communications market.
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