Telecoms-Channel News Roundup – Week 50

Welcome to the roundup of the top telecoms news for resellers, week 50. This week’s top news is featured from Microsoft Teams, CounterPath, No Jitter and Cisco.

Microsoft Now Offers Teams Devices-as-a-Service

Microsoft’s new Device-as-a-Service program for Microsoft Teams offers flexible monthly payment plans and affordable options.

Microsoft has quietly released a new Device-as-a-Service program for Microsoft Teams deployments that offers flexible monthly payments and affordable options.

In a blog announcing several new features to Teams, the IT giant briefly described the Device-as-a-Service program, becoming the latest unified communications provider to offer as-a-service options to eliminate the cost barriers associated with deploying devices.

“The new Teams Device as a Service offering provides flexible monthly payments, making it easier and more affordable than ever to get your users the devices they need,” wrote Nicole Herskowitz, general manager for Microsoft Teams.

CounterPath Enters into Definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger to be Acquired by Alianza, Inc.

(“CounterPath” or the “Company”), a global provider of award-winning Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) solutions for enterprises and service providers, today announced that it has entered into a definitive Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) with Alianza, Inc. (“Alianza”), a leading cloud communications platform for service providers, pursuant to which Alianza has agreed to acquire CounterPath in an all-cash transaction (the “Transaction”) for US$3.49 per share (the “Merger Consideration”), implying an approximate market value of US$25.7 million.

The Transaction, which was unanimously approved by CounterPath’s board of directors (the “CounterPath Board”), represents a premium of approximately 26.3% to the closing price of CounterPath’s common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market on December 4, 2020, the last trading day prior to the Transaction announcement and a premium of approximately 27.4% to the prior 30 day average closing price of CounterPath’s common stock on the Nasdaq Capital Market prior to the Transaction announcement.

RingCentral Rings Up Vodafone for a Partnership

RingCentral and Vodafone this week jointly announced a strategic partnership where Vodafone Business would offer a co-branded service. Vodafone is the seventh such partner for RingCentral, whose partner list includes Avaya, Atos, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, AT&T, BT, and Telus. However, this is the first strategic agreement that includes all of RingCentral’s technology — the “MVP” (messaging, video, and phone) suite — as well as all three of RingCentral’s contact center solutions, including Engage Voice from the Connect First acquisition, Engage Digital from the purchase of Dimelo, and RingCentral’s contact center NICE InContact OEM. The NICE InContact offering will be used when the customer requires a broad feature set.

Those that follow Vodafone are likely aware of its One Net Business portfolio, which is built on a wide variety of vendors. On the analyst call, Vodafone stated that One Net wasn’t going away, but RingCentral will be the “primary vehicle” which they will sell. In some markets, One Net will remain an option, and in others, it will be replaced entirely. In those markets, RingCentral will be the collaboration and telephony solution, the latter being enabled through the integration with their IMS core to enable FMC. Mitel acquired Mavenir years ago for this purpose — showing former Mitel President and CEO Rich McBee’s vision was right — but were years too early, as the company subsequently sold off that acquired business.

Cisco Announces Wave of Webex Innovation to Provide Smart and Seamless Collaboration in a Hybrid Future of Work

Today, at WebexOne, Cisco announced a wave of Webex innovation to help organizations collaborate seamlessly and transform their employee and customer experiences. Taking place today and tomorrow, WebexOne is Cisco’s premier digital collaboration conference that brings together thought leaders, customers and partners to discuss the future of work.

Webex has a rich history of helping employees innovate and remain productive wherever they are. Since the pandemic, Webex has not only continued to help businesses thrive, it has also been an integral platform for governments to continue to lead remotely, doctors to meet with patients safely, and educators to teach students at a distance.

The announcement of the latest innovations come as companies across the world are preparing for ‘hybrid’ future of work – where employees move between office-based and remote working with greater frequency – in a post pandemic world. Cisco has set out a clear vision of how technology can help customers realize that future today and create a more inclusive world for all.

CounterPath: Trends and Predictions for UCC in 2021

The pandemic has surfaced issues for businesses across the tech industry, but many of these issues can be mitigated through making the correct choices now. COVID-19 is a large unknown, but it’s clear it’s impacting the future of remote working. To keep business going, most have had to adopt a reliable UCC solution, almost overnight.

In 2021, technologies that don’t support the ability to bend to the unique workflows of B2C and B2B scenarios, as well as those that are not fully invested in a cloud strategy, or who still rely on single vendors will struggle to meet the broad range of customer requirements in the coming years, as we move to a more hybrid way of working.

Technologies that facilitate integrations and workflow assimilation within the telecommunications sector will drive the greatest demand in the coming year. Of course AI would be at the top of most people’s lists, but APIs and development tools such as SDKs will win first.