Cue the bass line from Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust." The rapidly dwindling list of independent web conferencing/webinar vendors just decreased by one. AnyMeeting has been bought for an undisclosed amount by Intermedia.
I had no familiarity with Intermedia, so I had to read their self-description from the press release and website. The company provides a large number of integrated applications such as email, voice communications, file backup and sharing, identity and access management, security, and archiving. They let partners rebrand and sell the services under different labels, which may be why they don't immediately ring a bell.
The press release announcing the acquisition says that this is part of a strategy targeting the Small and Medium Business (SMB) market to position Intermedia as a complete Unified Communications (UC) cloud solutions provider.
As soon as I see the letters UC (or the extension UCaaS for "UC as a Service"), I shudder. Vendors keep pushing this concept as the answer to the problem of universal communication and collaboration access for all employees on all devices at all locations at all times. Unfortunately, before they can sell the solution they have to spend a lot of time and effort trying to convince the companies that a problem actually exists. I understand why vendors want to sell a big, integrated set of communication and collaboration technologies all under their control (and invoice). I don't necessarily buy into the idea that many companies benefit from a single-source bundled technology stack, or that employees want more 24/7 access than they already are shackled to their jobs with.
But honestly, that's neither here nor there… I don't cover the UC industry or its providers. They are making money, which shows that the market exists. More power to them. I cover the webinar industry. And if past experience is any indicator, we can kiss goodbye to AnyMeeting as a stand-alone webinar solution. Once a big bundled solutions provider buys a conferencing technology to act as a lynchpin in a UC strategy, they have no interest in going through the expense and hassle of marketing, developing, and supporting the product for single-purpose webinar customers.
I would expect that AnyMeeting will gradually go the same way that Placeware/Live Meeting did after its acquisition by Microsoft. Existing customers will be grudgingly supported for a while as the Intermedia development teams work on folding the technology into their solutions bundle. It will get a new name to mark it as a component of the offered solutions suite. And then it will disappear as a separately supported product or solution and will become just another cog in the overall UC offering.
We'll see how well my crystal ball predicts this future as time goes by. I wish the AnyMeeting gang well and I'll stay on the lookout for developments and market positioning from Intermedia.