BroadSoft Acquires VocalData

Interesting story from yesterday about BroadSoft acquiring what used to be known as VocalData. It's not huge news and hasn't received much attention, but for people like me who have followed these companies pretty much from the beginning, we notice.

You can tell I'm old school because I talk about VocalData. The more current explanation - which you can see in the press release - is that BroadSoft acquired "GENBAND's M6 Communication Applications Server" - formerly known as VocalData.

Genband - formerly General Bandwidth - is a story unto itself with a history of acquiring and divesting, and VocalData came along with their last big deal. I've never been able to figure out how all their moves really add up - and I'm not alone - but it's pretty clear they're steering now more towards the media gateway space and away from the applications space. Fair enough - it's very hard to be really good at both.

I haven't heard anything yet about how much the deal was worth, but I honestly can't imagine it was a lot, and very likely under $10 million. The important thing is that BroadSoft is consolidating what little is left among pureplay application server vendors. There was a time when the U.S. market had 3 major players - BroadSoft, Sylantro and VocalData, and I tracked them all when I covered this space at Frost & Sullivan. I always liked VocalData, but they couldn't keep pace, and in time, this became a two horse race.

I've long been friendly with both Sylantro and BroadSoft - and have attended their customer events - but most people would tell you that BroadSoft is the stronger player these days, and continues to innovate on many fronts. Adding VocalData pushes up their revenues and customer base - which the press release says now stands at 435. That's a pretty nice book of business, and I have a pretty good feeling that you'll be hearing about bigger and better deals from them before the year is out.

Before moving on, I should clarify that BroadSoft may be the #1 app server vendor for North America, but globally, Comverse/NetCentrex is bigger, mainly by virtue of some very large residential VoIP deployments in Europe.

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