A few weeks ago I was attending the PTC Conference in Honolulu for a client. The event came right on the heels of the news that Comcast had purchased the Irish softswitch company Blueface. Maybe it was the timing, and how busy things were being 5 hours off of east coast time, but I sort of chalked the purchase up to the obvious reasons to me in conversations at PTC about the buy.
However, in thinking back to most of the news coverage of it, so much was focused on what Comcast said in their statements that the "obvious" wasn't said.
- Good bye to Broadsoft-With Blueface Comcast can stop paying licensing fees down the road. They also get a team that's 100 percent dedicated to them. Why should Comcast be paying the Cisco/Broadsoft tax when they can buy a more modern competitor, put the workforce in Ireland-a haven for Intellectual Property, and make more money.
- It's about Mobile-Comcast's mobile team will be able to fully integrate with their business and consumer phone services as well as next generation communications features. Right now Xfinity Mobile is known as a "light" MVNO meaning all the do is market and bill, and then rely on Verizon's Broadsoft switch for the rest. With the Blueface acquisition, and team, they can now use the power of an all IP switch to fully integrate and deliver new services that work across the entire "mobile broadband," "content," "phone" and "messaging" spectrum.
- Long term bad news for Momentum and Alianza -The two supply telephony services to the many smaller cable companies across the USA. Momentum is on Broadsoft while Alianza has their own platform I'm told. Watch as Comcast outsources their Blueface platform to Cox, Charter/Spectrum and other cable companies taking away the business from Alianza and Momentum (or buys one of them). They can do this and bundle telephony plus content deals from all they own from NBC/Universal and also offer their cable company brothers the ability to integrate ad sales, offers, content, sports programming and more to both the big screen and mobile devices. This puts the Blueface switch right in the middle of all of it.
At the end of the day this is a really smart move by the Philadelphia based cable co, and it shows that Comcast is far smarter strategically than AT&T. The purchase also demonstrates that Comcast wants to be technology independent, while being all standards based. It also shows that they have a clear vision, and clearly a better roadmap.
Lastly, unlike Verizon or AT&T, they understand how communications, advertising, sports and entertainment are going to be delivered. All that makes the Blueface acquisition one more rung of that ladder they are building that keeps more of the money in their pockets.