What to Make of BSFT’s Acquisition of VoIP Logic

Broadsoft (BSFT), the leading maker of UCaaS software, announced today that it was acquiring VoIP Logic, a white-label service that runs atop the BroadWorks platform.

Here’s what the BSFT press release said about the deal:

“We see that a large percent of data consumed by today’s business is through cloud services, which is why BroadSoft has become the go-to cloud transformation partner for service providers seeking to rapidly shift their legacy telecom infrastructure to a network capable of delivering enterprise cloud applications for mobile unified communication, team collaboration and customer engagement,” said Taher Behbehani, chief digital and marketing officer, BroadSoft. “VoIP Logic further strengthens our BroadCloud UCaaS solution portfolio, and the ability for our service provider customers to fully benefit from the cloud.”

Sounds good as far as it goes…  But I found myself wondering why BSFT, with  revenue of $284 Million and telco behemoths such as Verizon as customers, would bother with a relatively small white-label provider  like VoIP Logic.   BSFT states that the acquisition would add $0.8 Million to 2016 top line sales.  Extrapolating from that suggests that VoIP Logic has annual revenue of less than $4 Million. Why is that interesting to BSFT?

My answer to that question will not surprise anyone that has tried to buy any type of customizable anything from a large telco – they just can’t sell it.   Large telcos have been genetically engineered to be good at selling standardized, cookie-cutter services like dial-tone.  Hosted PBX and UCaaS are anything but cookie cutter.

And, although it touted Verizon’s recently launched One Talk service as a win in the cloud space during the last earnings call, I suspect that  BSFT foresees headwinds if it relies solely on its large telco customer base to grow the UCaaS market (for the record, I predict that One Talk will go the way of the Verizon Hub in the not-too-distant future).   In the U.S. today, there are close to 30 million small business, and upwards of 90% of these businesses have employees that work away from the office.  Outfitting these organizations with UCaaS is not a job that anyone should give to Verizon or any other large telco.

And that’s where VoIP Logic comes into the picture.  As a white-label platform provider, VoIP Logic enables organizations  that are already selling complex IT solutions to small businesses to easily add UCaaS to the mix.   If I were BSFT CEO Michael Tessler, I would start rolling up all the BroadWorks white-label platform providers and let them do what they do best.