Vonages SimpleSignal Buy Broadens Channel Market Coverage

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q4 2014 or here for our recently compiled list of new products and services that partners can sell.**

By Edward Gately

VolP provider Vonage raised the stakes this week by announcing its $25.3 million acquisition of SimpleSignal, the UCaaS and collaborative services provider, and launching two new products, VideoConnect and ChannelSphere.

Dana Point, California-based SimpleSignal serves more than 2,000 SMBs with more than 60,000 endpoints globally. It uses BroadSoft’s Broadworks platform to provide the VolP component of its services – the same platform used by Vonage.

Alan Masarek, Vonage CEO, tells Channel Partners SimpleSignal is “a natural complement to our UCaaS business, and they not only bring a similar approach to channel management, but also a similar culture.” Vonage is a New Jersey-based public company, while SimpleSignal is privately owned.

“We also think SimpleSignal customers will value being part of Vonage because they will have a wider range of solutions from which to choose,” he said. “The acquisition meaningfully broadens our already strong channel market coverage and provides the company with access to new channel partnerships and geographies, and the ability to deepen existing relationships.”

The purchase price includes $20 million in cash and about 1.1 million shares in Vonage common stock representing $5 million, subject to customary closing adjustments.

SimpleSignal sells its services primarily through its nationwide network of indirect channel partners. With SimpleSignal, Vonage’s channel organization will have “significant resources and scale, and will be one of the largest in the UCaaS sector,” Masarek said.

The transaction is expected to close within the next several weeks and requires no regulatory approvals.

Also this week, Vonage unveiled its new …

… VideoConnect and ChannelSphere products at the Spring 2015 Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas and the Enterprise Connect Conference in Orlando.

VideoConnect is an on-demand virtual meeting space that can be used by anyone who has a browser or webcam. It is aimed at helping businesses improve teamwork, accelerating responsiveness, and reducing travel costs while increasing productivity.

“In today’s ever-moving business environment, professionals need the ability to connect virtually,” said Clark Peterson, president of Telesphere, which is being acquired by Vonage. “Face-to-face collaboration accelerates decision making while encouraging creativity.”

ChannelSphere is a proprietary partner portal that gives partners access to tools that can auto-configure a complete cloud service, provide instant quotes and recommended hardware and software offerings for each customer. It also offers co-branded sales proposals and electronic signature integration to simplify the sales process.

“We will continue to enhance our business communications solutions and support services to make it easier than ever for our companies to move their communications to the cloud,” Masarek said.

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