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8×8 Breaks Into Global CPaaS Market with Wavecell Purchase

Watch out Microsoft, Google and other communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) providers, here comes cloud services provider 8×8.

8×8 has acquired Wavecell, a Singapore-based CPaaS provider, for about $125 million in cash and stock. The purchase gives 8×8 an entrance into the global CPaaS market, and is an expansion of its cloud business from UCaaS and CCaaS.

Last month, 8×8 rolled out its new Elev8 Partner Program with benefits targeting both master agents and subagents.

Darren Hakeman, 8×8’s senior vice president of strategy, analytics and corporate development, tells Channel Partners that over time this will allow partners to build services that leverage CPaaS capabilities.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
8x8's Darren Hakeman

8×8’s Darren Hakeman

“So for example, partners could help customers build custom mobile apps with embedded communications capabilities (voice, video, etc.) that help with customers’ digital transformation efforts,” he said. “It will take some time for these offerings to be generally available globally, but this acquisition does create more long-term opportunity for 8×8’s partners.”

Wavecell‘s CPaaS is a large-scale, well-recognized platform for providing text, messaging, voice and video APIs globally to both enterprises and developers.

The acquisition expands 8×8’s presence into the Southeast Asian market, including Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong, with more than 500 enterprise customers, including Paidy, Tokopedia and Lalamove. Wavecell also brings an R&D center in Asia which allows 8×8 to further accelerate growth in product innovation and delivery.

8×8 will increase its marketing, sales and support presence across the Asia Pacific region, including local offices in five Asian countries. It also expands its global voice and messaging network with relationships and contracts across more than 190 carriers globally, including extensive coverage across Asia.

IDC expects the global voice and text messaging CPaaS market to reach nearly $11 billion by 2022.

The acquisition gives 8×8 and its partners a competitive advantage because the company now is the only fully-owned cloud communications platform that includes UCaaS, CCaaS, video and CPaaS, Hakeman said.

“Because it is one platform, analytics can be omnichannel, and capabilities built for one use case (e.g., real-time speech to text) are immediately available in each service form,” he said. “So partners that work with 8×8 know they can offer customers comprehensive solutions that are future-proof and inherently more powerful because of the platform approach.”

Wavecell brings an extensive set of carrier relationships with particular strength in Southeast Asia that will be merged with 8×8’s existing carrier relationships to further improve quality and reliability of global voice and message delivery, Hakeman said.

“This acquisition also brings a presence in multiple countries in Southeast Asia which will benefit partners that have customers with any operations in that part of the world,” he said.

“We are delighted to become part of 8×8, one of the world’s leading cloud communications platforms,” said Olivier Gerhardt, Wavecell’s CEO and co-founder. “Now is the right time to leverage the global expansion of UCaaS, CCaaS and CPaaS services to better serve our customers’ growing demand for communication services and to continually drive greater innovation.”

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