Monday, January 13, 2014

Qualcomm Sells Omnitracs Europe to Astrata

Qualcomm announced the sale of its Omnitracs Europe division to Astrata Group Private Limited.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Omnitracs Europe specializes in commercial vehicle telematics for the trucking industry.

"The Omnitracs Europe name is synonymous with quality and customer service at the highest level," said George M. Kappaz, Chairman and CEO of Astrata, and Chairman of CIH International Group, the private equity group that owns Astrata. "We are excited to significantly expand Astrata's presence in Europe with the acquisition of Omnitracs Europe. With highly complementary geographic presences, the combined operations will truly have a global reach and in-house access to best-in-class technologies, enhancing our product and service offerings to our customers throughout the world."

In November 2013, Qualcomm completed the the sale of its Omnitracs subsidiary to Vista Equity Partners (Vista), a U.S.-based private equity firm, for approximately $800 million in cash.  The sale includes all of Omnitracs' operations in the United States, Canada and Latin America. The deal was first announced in August 2013.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

NTT Com's Virtela Acquisition Builds WAN Virtualization Capabilities and Client Base

NTT Communications completed its previously announced acquisition of Virtela Technology Services Incorporated (Virtela), a leading global managed and cloud-based network services company.

"Leveraging advanced virtualization technologies, such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), features such as firewall, WAN acceleration and SSL remote access will be delivered from network cloud. Furthermore, these features are automated for on-demand activation and configuration, helping enterprises save capital and operating expenses. These features are planned to be available to NTT Com customers starting Q2 2014," said Akira Arima, CEO of NTT Com.

In October 2013, NTT Communications announced two major international investments:  the acquisition of Virtela for US$525 million in cash, and the acquisition of an 80% stake in RagingWire for US$350 million.

Virtela Technology Services (Virtela), which is based in Denver, is a leading global managed and cloud network services provider serving over 500 multinational companies. Virtela integrates 1,000+ local and regional network providers, enabling the customer to build a virtual overlay network from multi-carrier MPLS, Ethernet, DSL, 3G/4G/LTE and other IP links, while benefitting from a single SLA and management portal. Virtela operates global operations and delivery centers in the U.S., India and the Philippines.  It has over 400 employees.

NTT Com said it plans to combine Virtela’s advanced service/operational platforms and expertise with its own global ICT infrastructure and resources.  NTT Com will also upgrade its cloud-based network services with Virtela’s network function virtualization (NFV) technology to virtualize the functions of customers’ network equipment, such as firewalls and WAN accelerators, enabling enterprises to benefit from instant service activation and significant cost reduction.

"Virtela is well known for its strong technology, networking expertise, global reach and highly regarded services," said Akira Arima, CEO of NTT Com. "As we advance our Global Cloud Vision, we expect to continue offering enterprise customers the highest possible value in services ranging from branch office networking to large-scale cloud migration."

"Virtela’s virtualized network services model combined with NTT Com’s brand and strength will create the industry’s most advanced services portfolio that enables enterprises to break free from the constraints of traditional network architectures and services," said Vab Goel, Virtela founder and general partner at Norwest Venture Partners.

Separately, NTT Communications will acquire approximately 80% equity interest in RagingWire Data Centers (RagingWire), a leading provider of data center services in the United States.

RagingWire has 650,000 square feet of data center space at its campuses in Sacramento, California, and Ashburn, Virginia. Both campuses are currently being expanded. In addition, RagingWire has begun construction of a new 150,000 square foot data center in Sacramento and will soon break ground on a 78 acre parcel of land in Ashburn, Virginia with designs to build 1,500,000 square feet of data center space. The company has annual revenues of approximately $85 million (USD), and a compounded annual growth rate of 30%.

NTT Com said the acquisition will more than double its data center space in the U.S.

Verizon Introduces Per-Hour Billing for Oracle Database

Verizon Enterprise Solutions announced an hourly billing option for accessing Oracle Database and Oracle Fusion Middleware on the Verizon cloud infrastructure.  Customers can bring their own Oracle licenses to the Verizon platform or purchase Verizon cloud services, which already include Oracle licenses. Current Verizon eCloud and Managed Hosting customers can also be able to use Oracle software on a per-hour cost basis and can leverage existing Oracle licenses.

"This deal represents two market leaders coming together to create a compelling cloud offering that will help enterprises succeed in a highly competitive market environment," said Oracle President Mark Hurd. "Combining Verizon's unique enterprise experience and capabilities with Oracle's best-in-class cloud products will provide customers another easy and cost-effective choice for embracing the cloud."

"With Oracle, we're helping enterprises transform their operations with the cloud," said John Stratton, president, Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "Few companies begin with a complete cloud environment, and the benefits of migrating to the cloud have at times been outweighed by the challenges and costs associated with making a change. Oracle and Verizon have now removed those obstacles. Companies can use their existing Oracle licenses or pay as they go for Oracle's software and gain the power of Verizon's next-generation enterprise cloud."

Verizon Cloud, announced in October 2013 and currently in beta, provides clients with performance, flexibility and control in their cloud environment. This agreement with Oracle demonstrates Verizon's commitment to building an ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies, delivered as services on top of Verizon Cloud.

Schneider Electric to Acquire AST Modular for Prefab Data Center Modules

Schneider Electric agreed to acquire AST Modular, which supplies pre-fabricated data center modules.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

AST Modular, which is based in Barcelona, Spain, has executed over 450 data center projects worldwide.  The company is considered an innovator in the prefabricated data center space. Expansions to AST Modular’s portfolio have included non-ISO modules, multi-module designs, and modular data center rooms, as well as a broad portfolio of cooling options optimized for the prefabricated IT space.

"It has always been AST Modular´s goal to offer the best and most innovative prefabricated data centers. Schneider Electric´s global presence, world class power, cooling and Data Center Infrastructure Management solutions, backed up by an excellent service network, will be a major benefit for our customers," said Henry Daunert, CEO of AST Modular.

"AST Modular’s capabilities and experience complement Schneider Electric’s strategy to provide global prefabricated solutions and support to meet customer demands in this fast growing segment” said Kevin Brown, Vice President, Data Center Global Offer and Strategy, Schneider Electric.  “The acquisition of AST Modular strengthens our regional capabilities in Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, with factories and custom engineering staff located in Barcelona, Spain and Miami, Florida. We look forward to expanding our library of reference designs and integrating AST Modular’s solutions into our portfolio to create the most comprehensive offer in the industry."


Telstra Sells Majority Stake in Directories Business for US$408 Million

Telstra will sell a 70% stake in its directories business, Sensis to Platinum Equity for A$454 million (US$408 million).

The sale excludes the voice services business and includes economic benefits to Telstra from services it will continue to provide to Sensis. Telstra will retain a 30% shareholding with Sensis now valued at A$649 million.

Telstra said the transaction price is equal to a multiple of 2.4 times Sensis’ FY14 forecast EBITDA after adjusting for the voice directories business (which is being retained by Telstra) and stand alone costs of operating the business.

US-based Platinum Equity is a leading global private equity firm.  Its 2013 transactions included carve outs from AP Moeller Maersk, CBS, CheckPoint Systems, Emerson and Deutsche Post DHL.

“We have spent the last two years enhancing our print directories business with a rich set of digital directory offerings. Sensis is now the leading digital marketing services and directories business in Australia. To drive further momentum, we believe it is the appropriate time to introduce Platinum Equity, as a strategic partner,” said David Thodey, CEO of Telstra.

SAP Reports 130% Annual Growth in its Cloud Services

SAP delivered strong revenue growth in 2013. Full year non-IFRS software and cloud subscription revenue increased 10% at constant currencies (5% at actual currencies to €5.3 billion). Non-IFRS software and software-related service revenue grew 11% at constant currencies (6% at actual currencies to €14.0 billion). Non-IFRS total revenue grew 8% at constant currencies (4% at actual currencies to €16.9 billion).

SAP said it is successfully managing the transition to a cloud-based industry.  SAP's annual cloud revenue run rate now exceeds €1.06 billion . The company also exceeded its full year 2013 guidance of €750 million (2012: €343 million) in non-IFRS cloud subscription and support revenue at constant currencies.

SAP HANA, the platform for real-time business applications, was a major growth engine in 2013. Full year 2013 HANA software revenue increased 69% at constant currencies to €664 million (61% at actual currencies to €633 million compared to guidance range of €650 – €700 million).  The company cited strong customer interest in SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA as well as SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.

"Four years of double-digit growth clearly shows that our customer-focused innovation strategy is winning. We are one of the few global tech companies that has successfully managed the transition to the cloud while growing our core business and improving our profitability at the same time," said Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, Co-CEOs of SAP.

"With the strong momentum of our industry leading HANA platform and SAP Cloud we bring simplicity to our customers and help them innovate faster." "SAP invested significantly in innovation and successfully scaled its cloud business while maintaining operational discipline and reaching our 2013 operating profit outlook," said Werner Brandt, CFO of SAP.

"SAP expanded its non-IFRS operating margin by 140 basis points at constant currencies driven by operational excellence despite the margin impact from acquisitions and our momentum in the cloud."

Friday, January 10, 2014

tw telecom Connects with TELEHOUSE Manhattan

tw telecom is connecting its Ethernet network into TELEHOUSE’s New York Chelsea data center, located at 85 10th Avenue. “Connecting our network and services to customers.

“Connecting our network and services to customers located in TELEHOUSE’s New York Chelsea data center affirms our on-going commitment to bringing high-capacity bandwidth services to the New York City metro area,” said Robert Bianco, Vice President and General Manager for tw telecom in Manhattan.

China Mobile Picks ZTE for First Commercial VoLTE in Guangzhou

China Mobile has selected ZTE to deploy voice over LTE (VoLTE) services on its commercial TD-LTE network in the city of Guangzhou.

ZTE said the VoLTE services on China Mobile’s 4G TD-LTE network support enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (eSRVCC) switching for seamless handovers to non-4G networks. eSRVCC technology complies with the LTE-A 3GPP R10 standard, greatly reducing latency times when switching voice services between the 4G network and 3G or 2G networks, ensuring that users do not perceive any change when moving between different networks.

The VoLTE deployment in Guangzhou was also enabled by a newly-built IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) system provided by ZTE. 4G smartphones with Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processors were used.

"The successful demonstration of VoLTE service speeds up the development of the entire industry ecosystem,” said Mr. Sha Yuejia, Vice President of China Mobile.

  • In July 2013, ZTE cooperated with Qualcomm to conduct a VoLTE test using commercial terminals in China Mobile's lab.
  • In December 2013, ZTE completed calls over TD-LTE VoLTE between Guangzhou and Tianjin.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Blueprint: Optimizing SSDs with Software Defined Flash Requires a Flexible Processor Architecture

By Rahul Advani, Director of Flash Products, Enterprise Storage Division, PMC

With the rise of big data applications, such as in-memory analytics and database processing where performance is a key consideration, enterprise Solid-State Drive (SSD) use is growing rapidly. IDC forecasts the enterprise SSD segment to be a $5.5 billion market by 20151.  In many cases, SSDs are used as the highest level of a multi-tier storage system, but there is also a trend towards all-SSD storage arrays  as price performance metrics, including dollar per IOP ($/IOP) and dollar per workload ($/workload) make it an attractive option.

Flash-based SSDs are not only growing as a percentage of all storage in the enterprise, but they are also almost always the critical storage component to ensure a superior end-user experience using caching or tiering of storage.  The one constant constraint to the further use of NAND-based SSDs is cost, so it makes sense that the SSD industry is focused on technology re-use as a means to deliver cost-effective solutions that meet customers’ needs and increase adoption.

If you take the Serial Attached SCSi (SAS) market as an example, there are three distinct SSD usage models that are commonly measured in Random Fills Per Day (RFPD) for 5 years, or filling an entire drive xx times every day for 5 years.  There are the read intensive workloads at 1-3 RFPD, mixed workload at 5-10 RFPD and write intensive at 20+ RFPD. Furthermore, different customer bases like the Enterprise and Hyperscale datacenter have different requirements for application optimizations and scale for which SSDs are used in their infrastructure.  These differences in requirement show up typically in terms of number of years of service required, performance, power and sensitivity to corner cases in validation. The dilemma for the SSD makers is how do you meet these disparate needs and yet offer cost-effective solutions to end users.

In enterprise applications, software defined storage has many different definitions and interpretations, from virtualized pools of storage, to storage as a service.  For this article, we will stick to the application of software and firmware in flash-based storage SSDs to help address the varied applications from cold storage to high performance SSDs and caching cost effectively. There are a few key reasons why the industry prefers this approach:
  1. As the risk and cost associated with controller developments have risen, the concept of using software to generate optimizations is not only becoming popular, it’s a necessity.  Controller developments typically amount to several tens of millions of dollars for the silicon alone, and they often require several revisions to the silicon, which adds to the cost and risk of errors.
  2. The personnel skillset required for high-speed design and specific protocol optimizations (SAS or NVMe) are not easy to find.  Thus, software-defined flash, using firmware that has traditionally been deployed to address bugs found in the silicon, is increasingly being used to optimize solutions for different usage models in the industry.  For example, firmware and configuration optimizations for PMC’s SAS flash controller described below cost around 1/10th of the silicon development and the benefits of that are seen at the final product cost.
  3. Product validation costs can also be substantial and cycles long for enterprise SSDs, so time-to-market solutions also leverage silicon and firmware re-use as extensively as feasible.
Supporting these disparate requirements that span cold storage to high-performance SSDs for database applications cost-effectively requires a well-planned, flexible silicon architecture that will allow for software defined solutions.  These solutions need to support software optimizations based around (to name a few):

Different densities and over-provisioning NAND levels
Different types of NAND (SLC/MLC/TLC) at different nodes
Different power envelopes (9W and 11W typical for SAS, 25W for PCIe)
Different amounts of DRAM
Often need to support Toggle and ONFI, in order to maintain flexibility of NAND use

The table below shows the many different configurations that PMC’s 12G SAS flash processor supports:

Using a flexibly architected controller, you can modify features including power, flash density, DRAM density, flash type and host interface bandwidth for purpose-built designs based on the same device. And this allows you to span the gamut from cold storage (cost-effective but lower performance) to a caching adaptor (premium memory usage and higher performance) through different choices in firmware and memory. The key is that firmware and hardware be architected flexibly.  Here are three common design challenges that can be solved with software defined flash and a flexible SSD processor:

  • Protocol communication between the flash devices:  Not only does NAND from different vendors (ONFI and toggle protocols) differ, but even within each of these vendor’s offerings, there can be changes to the protocol.  Examples are changing from five to six bytes of addressing, or adding prefix commands to normal commands.  Having the protocol done by firmware allows the flexibility to adapt to these changes.  Additionally, having a firmware-defined protocol allows flash vendors to design in special access abilities.
  • Flash has inconsistent rules for order of programming and reading: A firmware-based solution can adapt to variable rules and use different variations of flash, even newer flash that might not have been available while developing the hardware.  By having both the low-level protocol handling, as well as control of the programming and reading all in firmware, it allows for a solution that is flexible enough to use many types and variations of flash.
  • Fine-tuning algorithms/product differentiation: Moving up to the higher level algorithms, like garbage collection and wear leveling, there are many intricacies in flash. Controlling everything from the low level up to these algorithms in firmware allows for fine-tuning of these higher level algorithms to work best with the different types of flash.  This takes advantage of the differences flash vendors put into their product so they can be best leveraged for diverse applications.

A flexible architecture that can support software defined flash optimizations is the key to supporting many different of usage models, types of NAND and configurations. It also helps reduce cost, which will accelerate deployment of NAND-based SSDs and ultimately enhance end-user experience.

Source: 1. IDC Worldwide Solid State Drive 2013-2017 Forecast Update, doc #244353, November 2013.

About the Author

Rahul Advani has served as Director of Flash Products for PMC’s Enterprise Storage Division since July 2012. Prior to joining PMC, he was director of Enterprise Marketing at Micron Technology, director of Technology Planning at Intel, and a product manager with Silicon Graphics. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and he received his PhD in Engineering and management training from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About PMC

PMC® (Nasdaq: PMCS) is the semiconductor innovator transforming networks that connect, move and store big data. Building on a track record of technology leadership, the company is driving innovation across storage, optical and mobile networks. PMC’s highly integrated solutions increase performance and enable next-generation services to accelerate the network transformation.

IBM's Watson Delivers Cloud-based Services

IBM unveiled three new Watson services delivered over the cloud.  The company has established a new IBM Watson Group to build additional cognitive computing services, software and apps into the marketplace that analyze, improve by learning, and discover answers and insights to complex questions from massive amounts of disparate data. IBM plans to invest more than $1 billion in the initiative. The first Watson cloud services are:

  • Watson Discovery Advisor is designed to accelerate and strengthen research and development projects in industries such as pharmaceutical, publishing and biotechnology where it will be initially marketed. The service will scan and analyze millions of technical articles, journals and studies to determine context and synthesize vast amounts of data.  The goal is to help researchers uncover new perspectives from relevant data sources that could be overlooked, given the enormous volume of information available.
  • Watson Analytics delivers visualized Big Data insights, based on questions posed in natural language by any business user. Watson uses sophisticated analytics and a natural language interface to prepare the data, discover the most important relationships and presents the results in an easy to interpret interactive visual format.
  • Watson Explorer helps users across an enterprise uncover and share data-driven insights more easily, while empowering organizations launch Big Data initiatives faster.  The service provides data discovery, navigation and search capabilities that are secure, unified and span a broad range of applications, data sources and data formats – both inside and outside an enterprise. 

"Watson is the solution to today’s influx of information, delivered from the cloud and ready to be the ultimate advisor for faster, more accurate decisions,” said Michael Rhodin, Senior Vice President, IBM Watson Group. “By bringing a new generation of Watson-powered services to the marketplace, IBM is transforming industries and professions. These new cognitive computing innovations are designed to augment users’ knowledge, be it the researcher exploring genetic data to create new therapies or a business executive who needs evidence-based insights to make a crucial decision."

In November 2013, IBM announced plans to make it Watson technology available as a development platform in the cloud.  The idea is to enable software application developer to build a new generation of apps that leverage Watson's cognitive computing intelligence and ability to ingest both structured and unstructured data.

IBM said its goal is to create a cloud-hosted marketplace where application providers can tap into its library of resources for Watson-powered intelligence.  IBM will supply a developer toolkit, educational materials and access to Watson's application programming interface (API). IBM is already working with partners on applications for smarter online shopping comparisons, medical equipment supply chain management, and personalized healthcare recommendations.

ZTE Demos Optical Transport Path Computation with China Mobile

ZTE announced a demonstration of a SDN path computation element (PCE) control solution for optical transport networks.

The test was conducted by ZTE in partnership with China Mobile and the Research Institute of Telecommunications Transmission of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

ZTE said its PCE solution fulfilled functions including integrated PCE, multi-domain service scheduling and optical/electrical hybrid scheduling on ZTE’s WASON (WDM Automatic Switch Optical Network) system.  The path calculation of multi-domain multi-layer OTN and resource assignment are seen as key enablers for intelligent management and control of optical networks, more efficient service scheduling, and improved resource utilization.

Peak Raises $4 Million for its VAR Cloud Services

Peak (formerly PeakColo) secured $4 million in new funding for its enterprise-class IaaS cloud services for channel partners.

Peak offers cloud computing to its large ecosystem of value-added resellers (VARS), distributors, agents and service providers who white-label or re-sell Peak’s cloud as their own solution. With cloud nodes located in eight geographies across the United States and Europe including Silicon Valley, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New Jersey, New York, Atlanta, and the United Kingdom, Peak is able to address a wide range of services including disaster recovery, production workloads, storage and backup in the cloud.

The new funding came from Peak's current investment group, Meritage Funds and Sweetwater Capital.

EE and Vodafone to Bring LTE to Channel Tunnel

The Channel Tunnel will be covered by LTE services offered by EE and Vodafone by summer 2014.  2G and 3G services are also set to go live in the North Running Tunnel (UK to France) in March 2014.

Separately, EE announced that 2 million customers are now using its network -- twice the target set for 2013. The network is now delivering average speeds of 24-30 Mbps in twenty cities across the UK.

 “We’re incredibly proud of being the first UK operator to bring 4G to the UK and, in just over a year, exceeding our target by reaching two million 4G customers across the country. We continue to have particular success converting our existing base to 4G, with approximately two out of three new 4G customers moving over from Orange and T-Mobile plans," stated Olaf Swantee, CEO of EE.

Finisar to Acquire u2t Photonics AG for 100G Coherent

Finisar agreed to acquire u2t Photonics AG for approximately $20 million in cash. Finisar will also assume net debt of approximately $7 million.

Photonics AG, which is based in Berlin, Germany, supplies ultra high speed optical components up to 100 GHz. Its product portfolio includes TELCORDIA qualified portfolio of photodetectors, highly integrated photoreceivers and modulators supporting advanced transmission formats at 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps and beyond offers superior performance serving the requirements from transponder vendors, line card and system designers as well as test equipment vendors.  In calendar year 2013, u2t had total revenues of approximately $33 million.  The company was founded in 1998.

Finisar said the acquisition adds u2t's Indium-Phosphide (InP)-based 100G high speed receivers and photodetectors to its existing portfolio of high speed optics technologies. In addition, this acquisition will consolidate Finisar's previously announced partnership with u2t on InP-based IQ Mach-Zehnder modulators for 100G coherent applications. These receiver, photodiode and modulator technologies and products, when combined with Finisar's narrow-line width tunable lasers, will provide a full suite of optical components and enable Finisar to offer its customers vertically integrated modules for the 100G coherent metro and long haul markets.

"We are pleased with the acquisition by Finisar. During our collaboration to acquire the assets of COGO Optronics GmbH and develop the InP modulator technology from the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI), we realized that Finisar's technical strength, ability to cost effectively commercialize technology and global access to customers and markets would combine extremely well with our industry leading technology and design capabilities. Furthermore, the acquisition provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for our employees and innovative technologies to make a greater impact on the optical communication markets," said Andreas Umbach, CEO and Co-Founder of ut2.

Riverbed Confirms Unsolicited Buyout Bid from Elliot Mgt for $19 per Share

Riverbed Technology confirmed an unsolicited proposal from Elliott Management Corporation to acquire all outstanding shares of Riverbed for $19.00 per share in cash.

Riverbed said its Board will review the offer and communicate its views in due course.

  • Shares is Riverbed closed on Wednesday at $19.53, up $9.41%.

OpenDaylight Summit Scheduled for February 4-5 in Santa Clara

The OpenDaylight Project will host a conference in Santa Clara, California, February 4-5, 2014, to unite developers and users across enterprises, carriers and equipment providers for a collaborative and educational SDN and NFV experience.

Keynote speakers for The OpenDaylight Summit include:

  • Neela Jacques, executive director for OpenDaylight, Commencement.
  • Christos Kolias, senior research scientist, OpenFlow/SDN technical lead, network architecture at Orange.
  • Jun Park (Ph.D), senior systems architect at Bluehost.
  • Erik Ekudden, vice president and head of technology strategies, Ericsson, “Accelerating the Network with Open Source Software.”
  • Vijoy Pandey, chief technology officer of Network OS and a distinguished engineer at IBM, “Building an Open Adaptive and Responsive Data Center using OpenDaylight.” 
  • A user panel “Forming and Norming for SDN/NFV: Where to Support Innovation and Where to Simplify Life with Standards” featuring Open Networking User Group co-founder Nick Lippis, Open Networking Foundation MEC chair Marc Cohn, Open Networking Research Center’s executive director Dr. Guru Parulkar and ETSI’s NFV group leader Christos Kolias, moderated by Neela Jacques.
  • Inder Gopal, chairman, OpenDaylight board of directors, “OpenDaylight: What’s Next?”

A panel with OpenDaylight developers to discuss what’s on the road map for 2014, moderated by David M. Meyer, chair of the OpenDaylight Technical Steering Committee.

Calix Issues Q4 Revenue Warning

Calix now expects revenue for Q4 2013 to be in the range of $93.5 to $94.5 million and non-GAAP earnings per share of 2 to 4 cents per share, down from previous guidance of revenue between $97 and $103 million and non-GAAP earnings in the range of 3 to 8 cents per share.

Calix said it saw a greater than anticipated decline in traditional year-end "budget flush" customer spending patterns than the company historically has experienced.

Final results are expected after the market closes on February 11.

Convergys to Acquire Stream for Customer Mgt - $820 Million

Convergys Corp. agreed to acquire Stream Global Services, both providers of customer management services, for a total enterprise value of $820 million in cash.

Convergys said the deal will expand and strengthen its U.S. and global presence in the $55 billion outsourced customer management services industry. When combined, total company revenue is expected to exceed $3 billion, creating the second largest customer management services provider in the world.

Convergys will finance the deal using funds managed by Ares Management and Providence Equity Partners, as well as from LiveIt, the BPO investment arm of Ayala Corp. Convergys also announced the transaction is expected to add approximately $0.35 in diluted earnings per share (EPS) in the first 12 months after close, excluding one-time charges, intangible amortization and integration costs.

“This acquisition is an important step forward in our plan for strategic growth and value creation,” said Andrea Ayers, president and CEO of Convergys. “We believe this combination will strengthen Convergys by diversifying our client base and enabling us to offer a wider range of customer transactions in a more cost effective manner from multiple geographies, at scale. Our plan is to build upon the best practices and management teams from both companies to deliver superior customer benefits and enhanced value for our clients and shareholders, and provide new opportunities for our employees,” Ayers said.

See also