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Genband, Sonus merge to become Ribbon Communications

After finalizing a merger, Genband and Sonus will become Ribbon Communications. The combined company will focus on security and real-time communication tools.

Genband and Sonus have completed their merger and rebranded as a new company, Ribbon Communications.

As Ribbon Communications, the combined company looks to position itself to support communication service providers and enterprises as they transition their networks for IP and cloud-based communications. Sonus and Genband originally announced the merger in May.

The Genband-Sonus merger comes as the unified communications (UC) industry has seen a surge in consolidation as many vendors focus their efforts on cloud-based communications. Cisco announced last week it was acquiring BroadSoft to boost its unified communications as a service and cloud contact center offerings. Similarly, Mitel announced in July that it would acquire ShoreTel to boost its cloud offerings and support hybrid UC deployments.

Ribbon Communications will provide a full suite of real-time communication tools and security services. Sonus is known for software-based real-time communication virtualization, cloud-based SIP, 4G and voice over LTE, and security tools. Genband is known for network modernization, unified communications, mobility and embedded communications services.

"Ribbon enables enterprises to seamlessly secure and bridge their investments in existing communications environments from the likes of Microsoft, Cisco and others with a comprehensive, secure web and mobile-based approach and experience seamless mashups," said Patrick Joggerst, CMO and executive vice president of business development at Ribbon.

The importance of CPaaS

Genband's communications platform as service (CPaaS) offering, Kandy, is at the center of the combined company's initiatives to support cloud communications.

Joggerst said the CPaaS platform provides APIs, software development kits and prepackaged applications, known as Kandy Wrappers, to allow service providers to go to market with secure embedded real-time communication tools such as video, collaboration and messaging.

ZK Research analyst Zeus Kerravala said the combined company could benefit service providers concerned with Cisco's acquisition of BroadSoft. Service providers using BroadSoft technology may have concerns about branding their services under Cisco. Ribbon Communications could become a more attractive option for service providers that want to brand their own services. The merger also creates a larger company with a broader portfolio for service providers.

The combined company will have 2,500 employees globally and more than 1,000 customers in industries ranging from government to finance, Joggerst said. The company will also expand its geographic footprint in 27 countries.

In addition to Kandy, product offerings from the new company will include call controllers, media gateways, session border controllers, and security and analytics.

The company will continue to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker SONS until the Ribbon name and its new ticker symbol of RBBN become effective, which is expected to be by the end of 2017.

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