I have to admit I am not familiar with BroadSoft’s offerings. The company seems to have both consumer and business plays for Unified Communications across multiple internet-enabled devices. Today they announced an all-cash acquisition of iLinc Communications. The acquisition price was not divulged in the press release announcement.
It would appear I was a few years ahead of my time when I first blogged about iLinc as a potential acquisition candidate in April of 2007. When they divested their audio conferencing business a year later, I talked to CEO Dr. James Powers, Jr. about the possibility of acquisition for the company and he said “I know that it’s likely that someone will come knocking pretty soon… I’m not trying to hurry that process though.”
Dr. Powers seems to be a man of his word. It actually took a bit longer than I might have expected. But hopefully this deal will be beneficial for all parties and current iLinc customers will continue to be fully supported under BroadSoft.
Anything else I have to say is pure supposition and speculation. There are no public statements from either company about product direction or customer license renewals going forward.
I am a bit concerned about the way that BroadSoft worded their press release, saying “We believe that by incorporating iLinc into our Unified Communications services offering we will help our service provider customers meet the communication needs of businesses of all sizes.” That could be standard press release emphasis of the company’s stated focus and primary business. But Microsoft incorporated Placeware into its Unified Communications services offering and basically killed off the public webinar capabilities in favor of straight team collaboration via Lync.
Collaborative meetings are the operative functionality needed in Unified Communications. Public webinars are a separate (largely stand-alone) business, and I have no idea if BroadSoft is interested in continuing to compete in that part of the web conferencing market. I will be watching with interest to see how it plays out.