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BT extends video conferencing with Wire One acquisition

April 14, 2008 | Chris Payatagool


wireonetechnology.gifBy David Molony, Lucy Hipperson

BT is to acquire Wire One Communications, a Denver-based video conferencing service provider with 300 employees in the US and UK.

Wire One will become part of BT Conferencing's video business in June, if the deal is completed as planned.

Comment: BT's latest applications service-led acquisition challenges Verizon Business and AT&T in high-definition video conferencing for the enterprise. This is one area where BT Global Services has arguably been weak in its global managed services offer.

And it is an area where big prizes are being awarded by some global multinational companies, fighting down the cost of integrating growing regional operations in Asia and Latin America. In effect, Wire One will provide the service delivery channel for HD video conferencing on BT's global MPLS network. Wire One has a suite of remote equipment management and monitoring services which can be integrated with BT's UCC service bundle. It already offered a managed network option for customers to use the Masergy global IP network. Over time, these will probably be migrated to the BT network.

Wire One supports 25,000 endpoints, most of them on legacy systems from Polycom, Tandberg, Lifesize and RAD. But it also has installed telepresence rooms for a number of US corporations, including about 30 rooms for Cisco TelePresence, which immediately catapults BT into a strong market position in global managed telepresence.

BT conferencing will gain considerable leverage in the US video conferencing market with this acquisition. With the US market being the largest market for video conferencing and Wire One already existing as the market leader, BT will be able to considerably grow its video conferencing business on a global scale.

BT Conferencing enhances Wire One's global capability, where previously 95% of its customers were based in the US the 400-strong BT sales force will enable the video conferencing business to become more geographically dispersed.

The video conferencing capabilities that Wire One bring to BT, will enable BT to build on its existing video portfolio, with the experience of a well established video specialist organisation. The 30 members of BT's current video conferencing team will move to work with a 350-strong team from Wire One to form a specialist video team which will be rebranded as BT Video Conferencing. The fact that BT Conferencing is integrating Wire One as a business unit and moving its video specialists to work with the Wire One team, and simply rebranding the business as BT Video Conferencing, shows the belief it has in Wire One's capability as a service provider.

[via OVUM]

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