GENBAND adds NextPoint

Knocking a couple of lines from its shopping list, GENBAND has acquired NextPoint.  But how much was that company in the window?

GENBAND executives made no secret they were shopping for competencies in the SBC and security arenas. "We wanted to acquire a company that will fit with us, maybe number one or number two [in the market place]," said GENBAND Chief Marketing Officer Mehmet Balos. "The company that fit that model best was NextPoint."

Balos says the NextPoint acquisition has "no overlap" in GENBAND's existing product line and its technology allows GENBAND to build on its voice competencies and add functionalities meaningful to the platform.  An acquisition was better than an OEM relationship because it allows GENBAND to be in charge of the technology road map, rather than dependent upon someone else's.

Terms of the deal, other than a general statement that it was a mixture of "stock and cash", were not disclosed and are likely to be a point of considerable speculation and gossip over the next few weeks. NextPoint and its original piece parts, NexTone and ReefPoint, received at least $100 million in venture investments. It is unlikely GENBAND paid close to that amount, but NextPoint was the next-biggest player in the SBC space (after Acme Packet) with a 17 percent market share.

Most of NextPoint's personnel will be retained, including marketing, product management, R&D and some key sales people. Over the summer, NextPoint reportedly conducted a downsizing from 300 to 200 people in anticipation of a buyout.

With the acquisition, GENBAND lays claim to around 800 worldwide customers, including 61 of the 100 top telecommunications service providers. It also adds to GENBAND's acquisition scorecard, with previous deals including Tekelec's Switching Solutions Group and Nokia Siemens Networks' Surpass IP trunking gateway product lines.

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