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West To Buy Smoothstone for $120 Million

Smoothstone IP Communications, announced Wednesday it has entered an agreement to be acquired for $120 million by West Corp., the Omaha-based call center giant that also owns conferencing provider InterCall.

Upon closing, which is expected in the second quarter of 2011, Smoothstone will become a part of Wests Unified Communications operating segment, which also houses InterCall. There, it will continue to offer its portfolio of cloud-based communications services, which are delivered  over an application-aware MPLS network, and include VoIP, unified threat management, unified messaging, mobile integration and contact center solutions.

Wests UC segment houses conferencing and collaboration,  systems integration and consultation, and  alerts and notifications. In earnings also reported Wednesday for first quarter of 2001, the UC segment had revenue of $331.1 million, an increase of 10.7 percent over the same quarter last year.

Wests commitment to the high-growth unified communications industry is clearly demonstrated with this and our other recent acquisitions in the space,” said West CEO Tom Barker in a press statement.

West bought conferencing provider InterCall in 2003, and followed up with a spate of conferencing service provider acquisitions, including  Sprints conferencing assets in 2005, Raindance in 2006 and Genesys SA in 2008.

Earlier this year it bolstered its UC segment with the purchases of Unisfair, a provider of virtual events and business environments; Twenty First Century Communications Inc., a provider of automated alerts and notification solutions; and Preferred One Stop Technologies Limited (POSTcti), a provider of components, systems, professional services and hosted services for UC in Europe.

Last year, it bought Holly Connects, a Boston-based provider of carrier-grade voice platforms, and SKT Business Communication Solutions, a professional services, systems integration and IT  firm to add to the division.

West now claims a leadership position in unified communications with a broad, unique and reliable set of products. By leveraging the InterCall global distribution model with our long-term client relationships, Wests opportunity for growth is improved as a result of these acquisitions,” Barker said.

InterCall and Smoothstone both use indirect sales partners to distribute their services.


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