Big M&A Latest: Windstream, Star2Star, Avaya


It was a huge start to the year in terms of mergers and acquisitions with channel impact.

Windstream got things started, then Star2Star followed with a big step forward in global unified communications. Avaya announced a purchase just a month after emerging from chapter 11 protection, and rumors of an unusual reverse-acquisition swirled around Dell and VMware.

Also featured here: Polycom, McAfee, Telarus and more.

We break it all down in the gallery below.

Looking for more M&A? Click here to see the biggest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions from November and December.

2018 Channel Influencer

Windstream announced the first channel-relevant acquisition of 2018, saying it would buy Mass Communications (MassComm), a CLEC that provides telecommunications and connectivity management, consultation and development offerings for voice, data and networking technologies to midsize global enterprise customers.

MassComm works with hardware and software technology vendors and MSPs that share its “consultative, customer-first approach to delivering turnkey, scalable solutions.” Its customers are in the financial, legal, health care, technology, education and government sectors.

The news followed a big year of M&A for Windstream that included the purchases of EarthLink and Broadview Networks.
2018 Channel Influencer

Quite the contrary to the name, this is one merger that won't be leaving Star2Star blue in the face.

Star2Star is joining forces with Blueface, the Irish cloud communications company, in a deal worth up to $500 million. The pair say the merger creates a top provider in the rapidly growing global UC market. For Star2Star, it means an international expansion that makes it a player on the world stage.
Channel Partners Spring 2018 Digital Issue Cover

Telarus, the master agent/distributor, started the new year with a rebrand that highlights its purchase of CarrierSales and the integration of the fellow master agent into its business. 

Telarus says the marriage with CarrierSales has boosted its portfolio and supplier contracts, particularly among cable companies that had strong relationships with CarrierSales.

The company unveiled a revamped logo to accompany the rebrand.
Continuum's Michael George

Avaya signaled to its partner community – and the world – at its annual Engage conference that it's leaving chapter 11 bankruptcy behind in a big way.

The company kicked off its event by announcing the acquisition of Spoken Communications, a provider of enterprise contact-center-as-a-service (CCaaS) offerings. The acquisition follows on the heels of a co-development partnership formed by Avaya and Spoken last year to provide CCaaS offerings to Avaya’s business process outsourcing customers.
Datapipe's Robb Allen

Speculation ran wild after CNBC reported that Dell was considering once again becoming a public company. How would that happen? Through a reverse-acquisition, where VMware, of which Dell owns 80 percent, would buy Dell in a deal that could be the biggest in tech history.

This comes less than three years after Dell bought EMC – VMware's former majority owner – for $67 billion. So why now? It's the giant public-cloud providers, such as Microsoft and Amazon, that are gobbling up the bulk of the world's cloud-migration business.
Rocket guy_gumption

Percipient is now part of WatchGuard Technologies, which bought the developer of automated security services for small and midsize businesses.

WatchGuard was interested in Percipient’s flagship product, Strongarm, which stops phishing and malware attacks by offering a security-focused Domain Name System (DNS) service.

WatchGuard says the buy reinforces its commitment to “constant innovation, enabling our partners to always stay one step ahead of the next generation of security threats.”
dinCloud's Ali Din

Polycom said it would buy Obihai Technology, which develops software and hardware for VoIP endpoints. The acquisition is expected to create new opportunities for both Polycom and its partners since Obihai has an “extremely talented development team and a highly innovative technology stack.”

“The addition of the Obihai cloud-service solution will allow Polycom and our partners to reduce the overall total cost of deployment, ownership and troubleshooting, as well as better allowing our partners to scale, giving us, together, a huge competitive advantage," said Andre Reid, Polycom's senior director of product management.
Lorna Garey
FireEye-X15 Software

FireEye is buying X15 Software and its next-generation big-data platform for $20 million.

FireEye says the acquisition helps it accelerate the development of its Helix security operations platform with more big-data and analytics capabilities, plus the ability to ingest new sources of data.

“For our partners, Helix provides a massive opportunity to centralize their clients’ security operations and provide services around the deployment and management of Helix, while upgrading the effectiveness of every solution they’re using today,” said Grady Summers, FireEye's CTO.

SolarWinds wrapped its purchase of Loggly, a company that offers cloud-based log monitoring and log-analytics software.

The buy expands SolarWinds' Cloud SaaS portfolio, which includes Papertrail, AppOptics and Pingdom products. SolarWinds plans to continue investing to innovate and enhance Loggly.
Proficio's John Humphreys

Peak 10, which bought ViaWest last year and was subsequently known as Peak 10 + ViaWest, rebranded as Flexential, short for a “flexible, customer-focused approach that is essential to their way of doing business.”

The company calls itself a leading hybrid IT provider with 41 data centers across 20 markets, reaching more than 4,200 business customers.

Arrow Electronics made a key purchase to improve its standing in the Internet of Things, a 20+-year-old product engineering and managed services company.

The distributor says eInfochips will expand Arrow’s IoT “sensor to sunset” platform by adding engineering, solution architecture, embedded software development, security, mobile-device connectivity, app development, cloud configuration and management, and managed services — including big-data analytics.
AT&T's Meredith Caram
McAfee-Skyhigh Networks

McAfee, the security behemoth, wrapped its purchase of Skyhigh Networks, the provider of cloud access security broker (CASB) software.

As a result, Skyhigh Networks becomes part of the McAfee cloud security business unit. McAfee says it now can offer a cloud portfolio that addresses the three primary challenges of managing multi-cloud environments — visibility, workloads and data; advanced threat protection; and pervasive data protection.

The purchase price wasn't revealed.
Security Partnership

Cyxtera Technologies, which itself was formed out of an acquisition just last year, said it would buy Immunity, the provider of offense-oriented systems vulnerability research, exploit development and penetration testing services. 

The purchase fits in well with Cyxtera's label as a secure infrastructure company. The company plans to incorporate Immunity’s services into its portfolio of threat analytics solutions and leverage the Immunity team’s capabilities across its global infrastructure platform and customer base.

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