Genband Expands Reach in UC Market With uReach Acquisition

by Jeffrey Burt

Company officials say uReach's solutions will complement Genband's technologies around voice and video communications.

Genband, which significantly grew its reach in the competitive unified communications space when it bought Nortel Networks' voice over IP business in 2010, is continuing to add to its portfolio with the acquisition of uReach Technologies.

uReach offers a range of unified communications (UC) solutions—from unified messaging and calling to voice messaging, video communications and mobile calling—to service providers. The acquisition of the company will complement Genband's existing UC solutions with a more comprehensive lineup of messaging services that can be deployed by service providers either on premises or through the cloud, according to Genband officials.

The uReach technology dovetails with Genband's efforts to help service providers modernize their communications infrastructures, Genband CEO David Walsh said.

"uReach has earned the trust of the service provider community, enabling today’s leading tier 1 carriers to modernize legacy voicemail systems with transformative mobile messaging and calling solutions," Walsh said in a statement. "Their technology aligns with our software-driven, open standards-based approach to network transformation—enabling a graceful migration away from expensive and aging voicemail technologies to real-time communications solutions of the future."

uReach, which was founded in 1998, counted several top-tier service providers among its customers, including Verizon, Sprint, Cox Communications and FairPoint Communications. The company offers a range of communications solutions, including MobileConnect for managing subscribers' calls, email, voice mail and fax messages in one inbox; MessageMate for unified messaging; and VideoBlogger, which enables users to easily record and post video clips. Other offerings include VoiceMail, VideoMail and VirtualReceptionist.

Genband officials did not release any financial details about the deal, which was announced Feb. 18.

Teaming up with Genband will give uReach's technology access to a larger customer base, according to CEO Krishnamurty Kambhampati.

"Genband has the capabilities to give our best-in-class technology even broader reach," Kambhampati said in a statement. "Like Genband, uReach builds applications taking a mobile first approach rather than mimicking legacy premise solutions, enabling carriers to effectively compete with OTT threats."

The OTT (over-the-top) threats refer to such services as Skype, which can be used by end users on any connected device over the service provider's network, but without the service provider having control over or rights to it. Service providers are under pressure to offer subscribers more service choices and better experiences to combat the OTT trend.

Genband took a step in that direction in September 2013, when it bought Fring's white-label OTT mobile communications service. Fring's cloud-based platform was designed to reduce roaming costs for subscribers by moving voice and video sessions away from radio access networks and instead routing them over the Internet. The Fring technology complemented Genband's Nuvia cloud-based UC platform.

 In January, Genband introduced the Generation Enterprise UC  framework, which brings together a range of technologies around voice, video and collaboration capabilities with its new WebRTC solution and puts them under a single umbrella. It's designed to give organizations and service providers the tools they need to offer collaboration solutions to their employees and customers in an increasingly mobile and cloud-based world, officials said.


This article was originally published on Thursday Feb 20th 2014