A press release just hit the wires announcing that PGi will be acquiring ReadyTalk at the end of this month (barring unforeseen hiccups in the legalities). PGi has made several acquisitions in the collaboration and communication space over the past few years:
- TalkPoint in September 2014
- Central Desktop in October 2014
- Modality Systems in February 2015
The company itself was acquired by Siris Capital Group in September 2015, but continues to operate under the more familiar public-facing name of PGi.
Acquisitions of web conferencing and audio conferencing companies are commonplace. Microsoft bought Placeware, Cisco bought WebEx, LogMeIn bought the GoTo product suite from Citrix, and West Corporation bought everyone else they could find. Still, not everyone has been a fan.
Back in July of 2015, Martin Vlcek wrote on the Seeking Alpha investment site that he was concerned the acquisitions might be masking falling core sales volumes, leading to overpayment for the acquired companies. I am not savvy enough about the financial aspects of the deal to form an opinion in that area, but the deal does not surprise me or set off alarm bells in my mind.
Scrappy little ReadyTalk seemed like a ripe acquisition target, without the burden of other business units or corporate entanglements to slow the process. It has a good product set, with customers who seem to like the company. And PGi never gained the widespread public recognition and goodwill they had hoped for from their core web conferencing products iMeet and GlobalMeet. I think the combination of TalkPoint for large-audience webcasting and ReadyTalk for slightly smaller interactive webinars gives them a strong, proven product suite that can cover a lot of use cases.
With PGi going after everything with "Talk" in the company name, I suppose BrightTalk should be looking over their shoulder next! (Hmmm… That's actually not such a crazy idea. It would fill the triangle of use cases with an archive-focused product that is strong on recorded playback.)