8×8 an enterprise communications player in the areas of voice, video, chat and contact centre solutions announced the acquisition Wavecell, a Singapore-based global Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) provider last week. The deal is estimated to be for about USD 125 million in cash and stocks.
With this acquisition, 8×8 can leverage their CPaaS platform capabilities to enable companies to develop and embed communications features more easily. Enterprises can get direct access to pre-built features via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) leveraging CPaaS. These APIs let developers pay for the services they need when building voice, video, chat, SMS, and web capabilities. By using a cloud CPaaS, developers can also eliminate lengthy development times and reduce time to market.
What does this acquisition mean for 8×8 in the Asia Pacific region?
- Establishes their presence in the rapidly growing CPaaS space. The CPaaS market is growing rapidly which includes key players like Twillio and Vonage. The Wavecell acquisition will allow 8×8 to offer a platform for providing SMS, messaging, voice, and video APIs globally to both enterprises and developers. Wavecell offers a complete CPaaS solution including a cloud API platform with SMS, chat apps, video interaction and voice APIs that enable mission-critical enterprise applications such as Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging, omnichannel customer journeys and multi-factor authentication at scale.
- Expands their footprint in the Asia Pacific region. With this acquisition, 8×8 will now have a good footprint in markets which includes Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Hong Kong. 8×8 is active mainly in the ANZ region. Wavecell has more than 500 enterprise including names such as Paidy, Tokopedia and Lalamove. Wavecell also brings an R&D centre in Asia which allows 8×8 to further accelerate growth in product innovation and delivery.
- Gives access to a large enterprise developer community. Wavecell have built a robust enterprise developer community over the past several years which has leveraged their API platform and software development kits. 8×8 can now enable application providers, enterprise developers, and customers to access and natively integrate their enterprise applications with 8×8’s voice, video and messaging services.
- Provides global coverage for multi-channel communications. Wavecell has established relationships with 192 network operators worldwide and business partners such as WhatsApp. Its carrier-grade infrastructure enables customers to share more than two billion messages per year across these channels. This global network enables Wavecell customers such as Lalamove, to use SMS to immediately notify customers of their ordering and delivery requests. The acquisition extends 8×8’s global carrier relationships and network support to hundreds of additional carriers, enabling 8×8 to further optimise their global service delivery for enterprise customers anywhere they operate around the world.
The CPaaS market is growing rapidly globally. Developers want to easily add real-time communication capabilities such as voice, video and chat apps through APIs with a faster time to market. The ability to do it easily and to be able to scale without a lengthy implementation cycle and at an affordable cost is becoming key. This acquisition will help 8×8 compete in the growing CPaaS market where players such as Twillio and Vonage are growing their presence rapidly.
The enterprise communications and contact centre segments are highly competitive spaces in Asia Pacific with several new entrants in the region in the last 18 months. These players, mainly from North America, offer strong capabilities in the areas of voice, video, collaboration and contact centres. 8×8 has been strong predominantly in the ANZ region. They have plans to open an office in Japan later this year. The Wavecell acquisition will help 8×8 expand and open doors for their core product offerings in South East Asia and Hong Kong. Wavecell’s large customer base of over 500 customers will give 8×8 an opportunity to upsell their enterprise and contact centre applications.
Some customers are still buying enterprise and contact centre technology from various vendors depending on who is the right vendor for voice, video, contact centre and other applications as opposed to working with one vendor for their end-to-end solution. 8×8’s advantage against some of their competitors is that they own the entire stack of their offerings. That has been important to some of their customers who have said that it has also benefited them from a security perspective. Most of their clients who have moved to their platform have done so due to scalablity, ease of implementation and fast deployment times.
This acquisition is definitely a step in the right direction for 8×8.