I’ve been in the technology space for over 15 years and, as the cliche goes, the only constant in this business is change. As technology evolves at an accelerated pace and market demands and needs shift, the competitive landscape of providers, platforms, and ecosystems evolves too. Sometimes in response, sometimes to blaze a new trail and drive the entire industry forward.
The latter is a rare occurrence and usually marks a seismic shift. Looking back, you can point to the combining of RBOCs (Regional Bell Operating Companies) like Bell Atlantic, GTE, and NYNEX to form Verizon as an example. Or, and this may be a little bit of inside baseball, the acquisition spree that former CLEC PAETEC went on right up until they were acquired by Windstream, which made them a powerhouse competitor that challenged the LECs (local exchange companies) in scale, reach, and customer service and caused the entire industry to level up.
The recent announcement that Masergy would be acquired by Comcast Business could mark one of those consequential shifts.
I’ll assume you’re familiar with Comcast Business, a fixture in the connectivity space and respectable entrant into the cloud communication world. But you may be less familiar with Masergy. They are a visionary cloud platform and managed security service provider that connects over 1400 enterprises across the world to their entire footprint of locations, the cloud, and the world with leading-edge technology with an emphasis on robust, secure, and flexible solutions.
My hat is off to the leaders who conceived of this marriage. Both companies will benefit from the combined resources, scale, market access, and technology. but the real winners are customers like you.
Comcast Gets a Technology Upgrade
The press release states that Masergy is the perfect complement to Comcast’s portfolio of enterprise services and solutions”, but a more objective take is that this acquisition gives Comcast Business legitimacy as a true enterprise player giving them the capability to bring to market a truly global, secure, and flexible cloud platform that it instantly puts them at the forefront of the next-generation technology. This makes Masergy’s technology solutions more accessible to a larger number of customers and Comcast customers can get a seamless tech upgrade without the hassle of changing providers. This makes Masergys’s leading edge solutions more cost competitive by leveraging the Comcast infrastructure and it gives Comcast a seat at the table with customers requiring high touch process and strategic solutions.
More Resources, More Innovation
I mentioned that Masergy is a visionary company. For example, SASE is the latest technology to hit the market with a full-blown hype train behind it. But Masergy was providing the service before SASE was even a thing. Now that they are part of Comcast business they will benefit from having deeper pockets for product strategy and development. This, of course, could have huge trickle down effects in the industry and the market.
Customer Service Upgrade
Comcast Business is largely providing services to SMBs and the services they have historically offered could be considered transactional. To be charitable, I’ll say their customer service levels have been befitting the transactional nature of their products. To be less charitable, I’ll just say bluntly that they haven’t exactly been known for having high-touch customer service that IT teams supporting large enterprises with complex technology architectures need. Masergy, on the other hand, provides true white glove service that enterprises can rely on. Their customer experience may be unrivaled in the current market.
If you’ve been in this industry for any length of time, you’ve personally been impacted by a handful of mergers and acquisitions. The major challenge to realizing the intended value of the combined companies is always in how the companies get integrated. Or, should I say, if they even can be integrated. Disparate networks, billing platforms, and cultures can bring technical and experiential challenges. But I’m optimistic that the learning curve here will be minimal. Masergy will not need much integration, and many of the leadership there come from companies like PAETEC and so they are very practiced in M&A activity.
Overall, I’m very bullish on this move and see it as an opportunity for my clients to leverage a channel focused, asset rich- high touch provider. Let’s talk about TechChoice can help you take full advantage of the combined entities today!