Telecom Management Industry Market Alerts

/Telecom Management Industry Market Alerts
Telecom Management Industry Market Alerts 2018-02-01T17:06:26+00:00

Telecom Management Industry Market Alerts

AOTMP’s talented research and advisory teams are comprised of industry veterans that possess exceptional knowledge in all areas of fixed and mobile telecom management.

These subject matter experts author time-sensitive Market Alerts in addition to AOTMP research publications and white papers, providing pertinent information on current trends and challenges impacting the industry. The expert perspectives shared within these publications are based on best practices derived from previous experiences and client successes.

Calero has made its second acquisition of 2018, this time snapping up A&B Groep out of the Netherlands.

The announcement came on Jan. 11.

This represents the second AOTMP Efficiency First® Certified Solution Vendor Calero has purchased this year.

Read AOTMP’s position in the full Market Alert here.

Calero Acquires Comview

AOTMP’s prediction that consolidation in the TEM and EMM industries would continue into 2018 has come true in just the first week of the new year.

On Wednesday, Calero said it purchased 20-year-old Comview on Dec. 29 for an undisclosed amount.

Read AOTMP’s position in the full Market Alert here.

Net Neutrality

Today’s action by the FCC to reverse Title II and unwind net neutrality rules is significant for consumers and businesses alike.

Proponents of the action tout market competition and investment benefits – an open internet grows and thrives.

Read AOTMP’s position in the full Market Alert here.

Riverside Partners Acquires Calero

Calero Software has announced a change of ownership from Clearlake Capital Group to Riverside Partners and members of the Calero management team, signaling a different financial approach amid ongoing consolidation in the telecom management sector.

AOTMP views the move as positive, and as further evidence of mutual commitment to Calero’s business and customers.

Read AOTMP’s position in the full Market Alert here.

MDSL - Telesoft Merger

The telecom expense management sector, which also encompasses IT and mobility, is undergoing another round of consolidation as next-generation services such as the Internet of Things compel vendors to help enterprises handle evolving technologies. The newly announced merger of MDSL and Telesoft comes as organizations spend $1.5 trillion each year. Read AOTMP’s posoition in the full market alert here.

Marlin Equity Partners Acquires Tangoe

A shakeup in the telecom management ecosystem on Friday, April 28, 2017: Marlin Equity Partners says it will buy publicly traded Tangoe for $6.50 per share and combine it with Asentinel, which it already owns.

AOTMP analysts see both positives and negatives, with some gray area in between.

Read AOTMP’s position in the full Market Alert here.

Cass Acquires EfftelU.S.-based TEM provider Cass is buying Britain’s Efftel in a deal that represents significant momentum for the telecom/IT management market as a whole. Indeed, it demonstrates that vendors can support TEM on a global scale, said Timothy C. Colwell, senior vice president of Efficiency First® Adoption at AOTMP.

Read AOTMP’s position in the full Market Alert here.

AT&T Acquires TimeWarner

This is a vertical integration of content with distribution. It gives AT&T tremendous content to distribute through their DirecTV Now and through mobile. Enterprises will see more ability to get access to data and distribute it through their phones.

Read the full article from J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D. | Principal Analyst, Mobile and Wireless

Yahoo hack

Yahoo reports a recent hack that took a lot of information from over 500 million Yahoo accounts. The question is: can users protect themselves from future attacks and will it affect the sale to Verizon/AOL?

Read the full article from J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D. | Principal Analyst, Mobile and Wireless

Apple Product Launch 2016

Software again reigns supreme. iWork real-time collaboration is the start of something very important for the enterprise. Imagine using a pen to write notes in any application and have it shared in real time.

There certainly was a lot of interesting news from the Apple product launch today. While the hardware seems to always get the headlines, it’s most often that the software is where the real innovations occur that appear to more greatly affect our overall productivity.

Read the full article from J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D. | Principal Analyst, Mobile and Wireless

 

Sumeru Equity Partners Acquires Telesoft

Telesoft, a provider of communications expense and mobility management software and solutions, announced that Sumeru Equity Partners (SEP), along with company founder Thierry Zerbib and management, has acquired the company and made a strategic investment in support of the company’s growth. Telesoft’s Board of Directors has appointed Kevin Donoghue as Chief Executive Officer and Director Brian Martin as Chief Operating Officer. Thierry Zerbib will continue to oversee the company’s technology platform in his new role as Chief Technology Officer. As a part of the investment, SEP Managing Directors Kyle Ryland, George Kadifa, and Sanjeet Mitra will join the Telesoft Board of Directors.

Timothy C. Colwell, SVP at AOTMP, spoke with Telesoft about the announcement. “The partnership with Sumeru enables Telesoft to accelerate growth, broaden its presence in the telecom expense management market and expand offerings founded on a 34-year history of delivering quality service to customers”, said Kevin Donohue, CEO of Telesoft.

Read the press release here.

AOTMP Perspective

As the TEM market continues to evolve and mature, this investment in a long-time player in the industry signals much needed confidence in an uncertain and frequently unstable market. The acquisition allows Telesoft to continue focusing on new products, innovations, and expansion opportunities, while maintaining its reputation as a solid player in telecom expense management with a loyal customer base. Existing and potential customers benefit from the continuity of the leadership team as Telesoft enters into a new phase of business acceleration.

This investment comes on the heels of significant private equity investments in Calero, Asentinel and MOBI. AOTMP believes there is a billion-dollar revenue play for the first company who can execute with an approach delivering direct and sustainable bottom-line business results to its customers not derived solely from traditional bill auditing and cost savings of the past.

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Asentinel acquires Anatole

Telecom Expense Management (TEM) provider Asentinel announced the acquisition of Anatole, a leading provider of SaaS telecom and IT expense management solutions. Anatole is headquartered in Paris, France and has employees in the UK, Germany and Belgium.

“Anatole has distinguished itself as a TEM leader in a complex and shifting European marketplace,” said Tim Whitehorn, Chief Executive Officer of Asentinel. “With the addition of Anatole, we are now well-positioned to respond to the challenges of telecom expense management and mobility in a rapidly growing global market.”

Read the press release here.

AOTMP Perspective

This is a positive move for both companies, their customers and the industry. The acquisition positions Asentinel to expand its global mobility management capabilities into the European market. New and existing customers should benefit from a global solution offering. Asentinel’s combined workforce provides a potential opportunity to leverage global sales and channel partners to offer robust single solutions.

While there are potential benefits, prospective and existing customers should watch this acquisition carefully. Customers selecting a TEM provider should evaluate the existing and proposed capabilities before making a final selection. Existing customers should evaluate this merger in light of their long-term business objectives. The key to making this merger successful for the industry and for customers will be seamlessly integrating software and technology platforms to deliver solutions.

The TEM provider landscape has seen dramatic change over the past several years. Mergers and acquisitions will continue to shape the industry over the coming years. Customers ultimately win with increased competition fueled by increased provider capabilities.

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Tangoe CEO ResignsTelecom Expense Management (TEM) provider Tangoe announced that Al Subbloie has resigned from his role as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Tangoe’s Board of Directors indicated the company would benefit in the longer term from a transition to a new CEO. Independent Director James Foy will serve as Acting Chief Executive Officer and Gerald Kokos, the Company’s Lead Director, was named Executive Chairman of the Company.

Read the press release here.

AOTMP Perspective

The turbulent times at Tangoe continue with this latest news. Mr. Subbloie’s resignation comes nearly two weeks after the departure of former CFO Gary Martino and two months after Tangoe announced serious accounting mistakes which would require restatement of financial reports over several years.

Every organization has issues and challenges, especially those that have executed as many acquisitions as Tangoe. The Board recognized changes were necessary to overcome the obstacles and move the company forward, a positive first step. Tangoe is currently searching for its next CEO; and the selection is pivotal to the future of the company.  AOTMP suspects the next CEO is likely to be a telecom/IT expense management industry outsider with experience in the tech/software space as opposed to business process outsourcing.  Depending on the new leadership strategy and its ability to execute, the personnel moves could have a positive effect on current and future customers and provide a whole new outlook for Tangoe.

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TangoeVodafone

Tangoe and Vodafone have announced the formation of a strategic partnership. Under terms of the deal, Tangoe plans to acquire ownership of Vodafone’s existing TEM technology and retain a majority of Vodafone’s TEM employees. Vodafone plans to use Tangoe to service its existing TEM customers and to deliver Tangoe’s solutions as its preferred provider. The partnership is pending typical closing conditions but is expected to close within 60 days.

Read the press release here.

AOTMP Perspective

With this deal, Tangoe acquires a solid customer base, technology, people and a significant potential to grow the business from within the Vodafone client base. Historically, Tangoe customers have expressed mixed reviews regarding service levels so retaining Vodafone staff is a critical aspect of this deal to ensure continuity in existing relationships as well as service and support levels.

As with any migration, not all customers will be excited about moving to a new platform as they are satisfied with their current solution. Additionally, Vodafone acquired former Quickcomm and TNT customers and technology, some of these organizations may be in the process of migrating to a Vodafone TEM solution and unwilling to go through another transition. Tangoe’s Matrix platform, however, could offer additional features and functionality that would benefit some of these customers. It will be important that Vodafone customers understand software migration and support strategies to ensure minimal disruption and high levels of customer service.

TangoeTelecom Expense Management (TEM) vendor Tangoe has announced that the company will restate its financial statements for the years 2013 and 2014 and the first 3 quarters of 2015. The company indicated it made errors in recognizing revenue during these time periods. The decision for financial restatement was approved by the Company’s Board of Directors, upon the recommendation of the Company’s Audit Committee. Tangoe will likely miss its scheduled filing of their annual report with the SEC on March 15. The company currently estimates at least $17.1 million of previously recognized revenue will be affected, against total revenue under review of approximately $70 million and previously reported total revenue of $565.9 million. Read the press release here.

AOTMP Perspective

This is an embarrassing moment for the largest revenue-generating TEM provider in the space, and will impact the company and the telecom management industry moving forward. Financial restatements reflect poorly on the internal practices and processes of any organization and will likely be a deterrent for organizations who are currently evaluating TEM vendors and those considering extending business relationships with Tangoe.

Current Tangoe customers should immediately evaluate long-term viability of current business relationships with Tangoe.  Review current contracts and evaluate protections in place to mitigate the near-term risk and remedies available should Tangoe’s ability to perform be affected.

Organizations interested in discussing the potential impact of this event can contact AOTMP at +1800.860.8608, experts@aotmp.com or click here to contact us.

Clearlake CapitalTangoeClearlake Capital Partners IV Finance, LP revealed that they own a 13% stake in Tangoe Inc (NASDAQ:TNGO) in a Schedule 13D/A disclosure that was filed with the SEC on Wednesday, January 20th. The investor owns 5,109,900 shares of the stock worth about $41,901,180. The reporting parties listed on the disclosure included Clearlake Capital Partners IV Finance, LP, Clearlake Capital Partners IV GP, LP, Clearlake Capital Partners, LLC, CCG Operations, LLC, Behdad Eghbali and José E Feliciano.

AOTMP Perspective

This is a significant vote of confidence for the Telecom Expense Management (TEM) space, as Clearlake continues to invest in Tangoe stock; it may also be a sign of things to come.  Clearlake launched Calero, the merger of Veramark, Pinnacle and Movero in 2013. Could this be a first step in merging two of the largest telecom management companies?  Speculation is high. Stay tuned.

CiscoEricssonTelecom networking giants Cisco and Ericsson have struck a strategic partnership to develop and sell next-generation networking equipment and services. The partnership is reported to bring additional revenues of $1 billion for both companies by 2018. Under the terms of the partnership, Ericsson will also receive patent licensing fees from Cisco. Ericsson will begin selling Cisco products immediately.

This will be Cisco’s second major partnership this year. They first alliance, announced in May 2015, was with Apple whereby Cisco plans to integrate its networks with Apple’s devices so that enterprises can transfer data securely and quickly from these devices.

AOTMP Perspective
AOTMP sees this as a great move for both companies. As more companies are connecting devices and endpoints to the internet to be able to share data in real time, this partnership was needed to sell better and smarter software and networking equipment to keep up with the transition to software-defined networks (SDN). Both AT&T and Verizon are already planning to replace proprietary networking solutions with SDN solutions to keep up with growing demand of data and video traffic.

Both companies were facing stiff competition from Huawei and a pending merger between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, so this partnership allows them to better compete with these entities for network market share. With the deal, Ericsson provides Cisco with mobile management technology and expertise that they do not have today. Cisco provides Ericsson with networking expertise to develop leading-edge technology.

Enterprises should look for innovative networking solutions as a result of this partnership. However, the question remains how quickly these two companies will be able to introduce these products and services and the impact it will have on the competition.

Read the blog by Ericsson President/CEO Hans Vestberg here.

asentinelTelecom Lifecycle Management solutions provider Asentinel has announced the acquisition of San Diego-based managed mobility service provider eMOBUS. With the deal, Asentinel adds eMOBUS technology, expert staff and customer base to its existing offering. Both companies are owned by global investment firm Marlin Equity Partners.

AOTMP Perspective
This acquisition is an extremely positive move for both companies and the industry at large. Asentinel customers will benefit from enhanced mobility management capabilities including detailed BYOD management offerings, extensive integration and automation to ease internal mobility management workloads. eMOBUS clients will enjoy the ability to manage all of their fixed and mobile telecom assets and services within a single, robust platform.

In addition, this deal reflects the confidence Marlin has in Asentinel’s performance and the TEM marketplace. Marlin purchased Asentinel earlier this year; and an additional vendor acquisition within the space demonstrates its commitment to Asentinel as well as its dedication to driving value for customers.

The TEM provider landscape has seen dramatic change over the past several years. Merger and acquisition activity will continue to shape the industry over the next several years.

Read Asentinel’s press release here.

MOBIManaged Mobility Services (MMS) provider and AOTMP Efficiency First® Certified Vendor MOBI announced today it received a $35 million investment from New York-based growth equity firm Bregal Sagemount. Under the terms, the equity firm will have a minority position in MOBI and its founding partner, Daniel Kim, will serve as a member of the Board.

MOBI provides software and services to assist companies with mobility management. MOBI’s cloud-based software centralizes the management of mobile devices by integrating with wireless carriers, EMMs, corporate IT systems, and third-party technology applications that touch a mobility environment. MOBI’s services help organizations deploy, secure, support, optimize, monitor, and decommission mobile devices.

AOTMP Perspective
This announcement and investment is an extremely significant event for MOBI and the entire industry on several different fronts. The funding, which represents a substantial amount in this space, validates how well MOBI has performed and its potential for future growth. Their technology, services and people have historically been strengths for the company and the investment reflects this. It also provides MOBI with the necessary resources to enhance and expand their product and service offerings, thereby increasing the value-add for their clients. Look for bigger and better things to come from MOBI in the future.

For the industry, this event reflects the confidence investors have in companies that can assist organizations with managing their environments more efficiently and effectively. AOTMP continues to see organizations struggling to keep pace with their complex and ever-changing mobile estate, from initial configuration / deployment to decommission and all management points in between. With this, the demand for managed and consultative mobility services will continue to grow. This puts MMS providers and others who assist organizations in managing their environments in a very favorable marketplace position, with both enterprises and potential investors, today and in the foreseeable future.

Read MOBI’s press release here.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted Thursday to pass net neutrality in a 3-to-2 partisan vote. The five-member commission “reclassified” broadband Internet access as a “common carrier” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, making the Internet a regulated utility like water or electricity.

The new rules aim to ensure that Internet service providers (ISP’s) cannot discriminate between content-makers by blocking or deliberately slowing some content while offering prioritization for those willing or able to pay. Mobile data service for smartphones and tablets also are being placed under the new rules. The directive also includes requirements to protect consumer privacy and to ensure Internet service is available for people with disabilities and in remote areas.

Opponents of net neutrality have said they plan to challenge the FCC’s ruling in court.

AOTMP Perspective
This has the potential to become a huge event for the telecommunications industry. Large content providers such as Netflix, AOL and Facebook along with free speech advocates are heralding this ruling. Internet content will continue to be open and network speeds will be similar for everyone. Critics of the new rules, primarily Internet Service Provider’s (ISP’s) such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast fear price controls on their services. Some ISP’s have threatened less investment and innovation into their networks. Critics also mention the government will eventually add new taxes for Internet services. The government has denied this claim.

The new rules are expected to go into effect this summer. However, upcoming court filings and challenges from the ISP’s, this timetable will certainly be pushed back. Expect another long fight about whether the FCC has the authority to regulate the Internet.

Telecom expense management (TEM) software and service provider Asentinel has been acquired by Marlin Equity Partners, a global investment firm with over $3 billion of capital under management and an extensive and successful track record in the technology industry. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The original press release can be viewed on Asentinel’s website (www.asentinel.com).

AOTMP Perspective
This acquisition is a great move for Asentinel and the TEM industry at large. Asentinel is one of the larger TEM providers in the space and has seen some impressive growth rates over the past several years. This acquisition further establishes the company as one of the market leaders and provides significant financial capital for continued growth and the potential for new innovations which the TEM space desperately needs.

“Marlin obviously sees the value and growth opportunity in the TEM marketplace, says Tim Lybrook, CEO and President of AOTMP. This is their second TEM investment which indicates how favorably they view the space and Asentinel’s future potential.”

The outlook for Asentinel continues to look bright. It will be interesting to see how the company moves forward and potentially transforms the industry.

AT&T has announced it is offering customers the ability to rollover their unused monthly data allotments. Starting January 25th, all new and current AT&T Mobile Share Value customers will automatically receive the rollover data feature at no additional cost. T-Mobile announced their own data rollover program in December.

Here is how the program works. If you do not use your entire data plan allotment in a given month, the excess amount rolls over to the next month. Any unused rollover data in that next month expires. Your plan’s original data allowance is used before any rollover data. Rollover Data can be shared with everyone on the same Mobile Share Value plan.

AOTMP Perspective
Although AT&T said they were planning to release a data rollover program for some time, T-Mobile’s earlier announcement clearly had an impact on this move. AT&T’s rollover program differs significantly from T-Mobile’s version. AT&T offers a single month of rollover rather than twelve months with T-Mobile. It will be interesting to see if Verizon follows suit or sticks to their strategy of individual incentives.

Read the press release here.

Optelcon and Ezwim have joined forces and announced a telecom / IT expense management partnership. The partnership combines Optelcon’s contract negotiation, benchmarking and strategic sourcing services with Ezwim’s expense management platform and services.

AOTMP Perspective
This is a good move for both companies and the industry at large. Organizations are looking for providers who can provide services above and beyond traditional expense management offerings. This partnership addresses the demand by combining critical expense management and sourcing services into a comprehensive suite of telecom management services. It is unclear whether any technology integration will take place or if organizations who purchase the full suite of solutions will be supported by one company. Regardless, customers and potential prospects of both companies should benefit by this event.

Read the press release here.

On October 28th at TechEd Europe in Barcelona, Microsoft announced it will be adding a free subset of capabilities available in its Intune MDM service into Office 365. The new capabilities will be released during the first quarter of next year and will be available for Android, Apple and Windows devices.  These features will be included with all Office 365 commercial subscriptions, including business, enterprise, education and government plans.

AOTMP Perspective
This is an important move for Microsoft as it continues its strategy towards providing organizations with tools to more effectively manage their mobile devices. Security of mobile data is a top priority for organizations and this addition will allow organizations using Office 365 to efficiently secure information that resides on mobile devices. Although unlikely, it will be interesting to see if this move cuts into the market share of other 3rd party MDM providers.

Read about Intune at Microsoft’s blog.

Apple has announced the release of their new iPhone 6 smartphone series along with their new operating system iOS 8. The iPhone 6 screen is 4.7 inches diagonally and starts at $199 for a 16 GB configuration. The larger iPhone 6 Plus measures 5.5 inches and starts at $299 (16 GB), $399 (64 GB) and $499 (128 GB). Both phones come in three colors: gold, silver and space gray.

Here is a brief summary of some of the new features and functionality:

  • Larger screen
  • Improved screen resolution
  • Thinner design
  • Mobile payment ready
  • Improved camera quality
  • Faster processor

Pre-orders for the new iPhones will start being accepted on September 12th. Shipments will begin on September 19th. Apple’s iOS 8 will be available two days earlier on September 17th.

AOTMP Perspective
This move by Apple is clearly in response to consumer demand for larger smartphone screens and a direct competitive response to Samsung, who has dominated the larger phone market.

Nearly all of the new features and functionality that Apple has released are consumer-driven and lacks any notable business-oriented enhancements. AOTMP does not expect this release to have any effect on the number of corporate-liable devices currently deployed. However, organizations with a BYOD program could see an increase in the number of iPhones in their environments, as Android and Microsoft users may be enticed to try the larger-screened iPhone.

Global Capacity, a connectivity as a service provider, has reached an agreement to acquire MegaPath’s network services business unit. The deal increases Global Capacity’s network reach in the United States and continues to simplify network connectivity for business customers. By acquiring MegaPath’s Network Services, Global Capacity will create a $300 million company and have an aggregated central office-based network that will serve over 50 markets and reach 14 million businesses.

The deal is expected to close in December of this year, pending regulatory approvals. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed at the time of the announcement.

AOTMP Perspective
This deal provides significant benefits to both companies. The move allows Global Capacity to continue their growth strategy by expanding their network reach while acquiring hundreds of additional customers. The acquisition of MegaPath’s wholesale network services business is just one of several moves Global Capacity has made in recent years to expand its reach. For MegaPath, the deal provides additional capital and allows them to focus and invest in their managed voice, data, security and cloud services businesses.

Merger and acquisitions will continue to take place and shape the telecom industry. Enterprises who experience vendor M&A activity should discuss these events with their providers in order to better understand the implications of these deals and obtain assurances that service and support will not be affected.

In a stunning reversal, the California Court of Appeals overturned a previous decision by a California Superior Court and determined that employers must reimburse employees for work-related usage on personally-owned mobile devices. One of the primary messages conveyed by the court is that companies should not be allowed to pass operating expense back to their employees. The ruling is considered the first major legal decision made about employers’ responsibilities regarding costs incurred by employees who use their personal devices for work.

The Court of Appeals went on to say that employers must reimburse a “reasonable percentage” of an employees’ mobile phone bill for work-related usage and that reimbursement should take place regardless of employee plan (limited or unlimited) or if expenses are paid by a third-party.

AOTMP Perspective
This ruling will certainly lead many California employers to re-examine their existing BYOD programs and opens the door for other states to challenge existing legislation. AOTMP research conducted in April of this year reflected a significant increase in the percentage of organizations who were not reimbursing BYOD users for business usage.  With the increase in the number of potentially disgruntled employees who are not being reimbursed, along with the California ruling, AOTMP anticipates similar challenges will be raised in other states. All of this could lead to lower BYOD adoption rates in the next 12 to 24 months.

The immediate impact of this ruling will be felt by companies in California who do not currently reimburse employees for business usage. Incorporating processes to identify, capture and approve business usage on personal devices and then determining how to reimburse expenses will require a significant amount of time, effort and resources. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) vendors and Mobile Device Management software are two resources that can help organizations manage this process.

Organizations should keep a watchful eye on how this situation unfolds in California and other states across the nation.