Posted in Cloud Computing

Cloud Communications News: Windstream Enters SMB Unified Communications Scene

Recently, Windstream Communications (NASDAQ:WIN) was downgraded to a “strong sell” rating by ValuEngine. The resulting drop in stock value may push investors to rethink their investments in telecoms, cloud phone providers, and VoIP, but would that be a wise decision? The market, as a whole, would suggest otherwise.

Yes, there has been a 15% increase in Windstream’s short interest since July 31. In the short term, the signs don’t look promising—but for a long-term strategy, look to the health of the market as a whole.

For investors in the telecom and cloud services industry, this could be the perfect opportunity to buy low and sell high months down the road.

Windstream Recently Acquired a Major Player – Broadview Networks

Windstream, in short, provides networking and cloud phones for business. As the company’s stock fell over time, they realized that they needed to enter the cloud-based UC game for small business. They began to look for a relevant player in the UC space.

After identifying Broadview Networks as the right solution for its B2B portfolio, Windstream completed the Broadview purchased on July 28, 2016 for an all-cash transaction of $227.5 million. The acquisition gave Windstream a strong product to offer SMBs—Broadview’s office phone systems, branded as OfficeSuite UC, are a popular choice among companies switching to cloud communications.

As the press release states, “Windstream expects to realize approximately $30 million in annual operating synergies within two years.” Investors should feel confident in Windstream and telecom companies going forward.

“Cloud Connect” to Further Serve SMBs and Enterprises.

To further expedite their competiveness on the cloud front, Windstream announced, “Cloud Connect,” a high-speed network connection between large CSPs (like Amazon Web Services), and a company’s actual cloud services (a unified communications package, for instance).

While Windstream doesn’t seem interested in competing in the Cloud Services Providers (CSPs) segment (a space dominated by Amazon, Google, and Apple), Cloud Connect shows the company’s interest in the cloud computing industry as a whole, not just in cloud communications, VoIP, and PBX.

The Telecom Industry, as a Whole, is Growing

The Inc. 5000, Inc. Magazine’s annual ranking of the top 5,000 fastest-growing companies in the United States, showed that the telecom industry is doing better than ever.

Of the 5,000 fastest growing companies, 86 operate within the telecom industry. Within the group are SMBs and enterprises selling business UC, VoIP, Mitel phone systems, and Polycom phones.

In 2016, businesses across the country adopted cloud technology 8% more than the previous year. That may be the single biggest indicator that investing in telecoms selling cloud solutions is a stronger decision than ever.


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