Today they've announced their first acquisition since then, and it's exactly what you'd expect given their big picture plans. In short, Metaswitch has acquired Richardson, TX-based App Trigger, an established vendor in the service broker space. I wasn't familiar with this company before, but I followed this space fairly closely when there were more players.
As with other IP comms sectors, service brokers have gone through their share of consolidation, and companies I was close to for some time - such as Personeta and Leapstone - are long gone. However, App Trigger remains - until now - and this looks like a good exit for them, and a smart move for Metaswitch.
If you thought the SBC space was misunderstood, it's even more so for service brokers. This is complex network technology for telcos, and being so engineering-heavy, it's no surprise that market adoption has struggled and that these companies have remained small. Bad for them, but good for Metaswitch.
As I understand things, service broker platforms bring value by enabling carriers to bridge the worlds of legacy and IP for both service creation and service delivery. A lot of legacy apps are still widely used and profitable for carriers, but they also need to move into IP, and that's where service broker platforms come into play.
Being a small company, this was a manageable acquisition for Metaswitch, and adds another layer of value right away. As noted in my last post, they're in a great spot to make acquisitions, and this seems to be the right kind of move. There aren't that many service broker players left, and it makes Metaswitch a more complete solution. First, App Trigger has a global footprint, and several Tier 1 customers, giving Metaswitch a new base to sell into.
Even better, though, is the capability this gives them to better service the global market, which is a key part of their growth plan. One of the challenges for global carriers is the wide variance of protocols used to hand off traffic to each other. This applies equally across different types of protocols, as well as addressing varying flavors within one, especially SIP. Perhaps equally important is wireless, which is a key growth area for Metaswitch, and as carriers adopt IMS and migrate to 4G and LTE, wireless service broker capabilities could become a key differentiator.
That's as far as I can take the technical discussion, but I see enough here to conclude that it's a good deal for both parties. Terms were not disclosed, but I can't imagine the cost was all that much, and certainly within Metaswitch's means. So, it's another step forward for the company, and am sure this will put some pressure on the competition to keep pace.