What Arkadin's ConferencePlus Purchase Means for Partners

By Kelly Teal Comments
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Now that Arkadin has wrapped the purchase of ConferencePlus Inc., channel partners can expect some changes — all good, if the company follows through on intended plans.

Late last year, Arkadin, a global collaboration solutions provider, said it was buying ConferencePlus, owned by Westell Technologies Inc. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed and the transaction closed at the end of the year.

Through the acquisition of ConferencePlus, Arkadin said it became the third-largest independent collaboration service provider in North America and consolidated its position as the second-largest collaboration service provider in Asia and Europe, where it is headquartered. That first point is critical for Arkadin. "Buying ConferencePlus really bolsters our footprint across North America. It doubles our business in North America," said Mark Alexander, president of Arkadin's North American operations.

The strategy also brings new employees, channel partners and platforms to Arkadin. The provider now boasts about 300 staff members and runs two large operations centers. And with the addition of ConferencePlus' agents and resellers, Arkadin has 70 channel partners "and pretty significant revenue stream" from those salespeople, Alexander said.

Finally, the Arkadin-ConferencePlus union makes the most of two sets of strengths. Arkadin had built a global footprint for its IP conferencing platforms, while ConferencePlus focused on operator services and high-end events, mostly in the United States and Canada. Arkadin further tackled cloud-based and video systems while ConferencePlus honed its managed services offering. Putting all of those capabilities into one portfolio gives partners a range of products to sell. "We get one plus one equals two-and-a-half," said Alexander.

Perhaps nowhere is that more true than in the recent introduction of Arkadin's Cloud Collaboration Platform, which will serve as the foundation of the company's long-term unified communications products. Launched in several test markets last year, and sold through partners, the system is immediately available with Arkadin's audio conferencing service. It also works with the provider's Web and video technology. But what's special about this particular cloud platform?

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