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Comcast Business gets a leg up with Masergy buy

Comcast Business has agreed to buy SDN and cloud specialist Masergy for an undisclosed sum, a move that should give it a lift in the enterprise services space.

Essentially, the deal is about improving Comcast Business’ ability to serve large US businesses with global footprints.

“Masergy provides a perfect complement to our portfolio of enterprise services and solutions and will allow us to instantly and dramatically amplify our growth in the global enterprise market,” said Comcast Business President Bill Stemper.

Comcast Business has a longstanding relationship with small and medium-sized businesses in the US, basing services on its national high-speed cable network. But in the past few years it has made a serious push into the large business and enterprise space. As LightReading points out, it has made a number of acquisitions to boost its business services portfolio in recent years and indicated that it is picking up major accounts at its Q2 earnings call last month. The company does not give a lot away regarding the performance of its enterprise operations though, as compared to its SME business.

Through the Masergy deal – presuming it receives the required regulatory approvals – Comcast Business will pick up a customer base of 1,400 across 100 countries, plus managed SD-WAN, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), Call Center as a Service (CCaaS) and Managed Security solutions to boost its portfolio.

“The combination of Comcast Business’s leading advanced fiber network and Masergy’s innovative services will enable Comcast Business customers to manage their international operations and networks more efficiently and securely,” the operator said.

Makes perfect sense. But the big question is, how much of a boost will Comcast Business’ enterprise offering get as a result of the deal. Clearly, the answer to that is the usual ‘time will tell’, but there is some optimism out there.

“Watch out @ATT and @Verizon… @comcastbusiness acquires enterprise class #SDWAN and #SASE provider @MASERGY to come after you,” industry analyst and founder of ZK Research Zeus Kerravala posted on Twitter.

Admittedly, Kerravala took a more measured view of the acquisition in his post on eWeek, in which he noted that the Masergy deal will enable Comcast Business to take on the big two telcos “in a bigger way”; there’s no real suggestion that it will be able to compete at the same level as AT&T and Verizon Business just yet.

However, Kerravala described Masery as “an ideal acquisition target for Comcast,” given that the bulk of its business is with enterprise-class companies, and outlined the many advantages it will bring, including its managed SD-WAN services; network management and orchestration prowess; mature channel programme; the UCaaS solution it offers in partnership with Cisco Webex; and its brand strength.

Further, Kerravala took a stab at estimating the value of the deal, based on Masergy’s revenues. He puts it at around the $1.5 billion mark, which could be money well spent for Comcast Business, if it does indeed help it raise its game in the enterprise market.

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