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Cloud UC Specialist Smoothstone Acquired By West Corp.

Smoothstone, which offers various IP communications as-a-service, is the latest acquisition by M&A-hungry West.

IP unified communications

Smoothstone will become part of West's expanding UC arm, which also includes conferencing and collaboration service provider InterCall. Smoothstone's range of SaaS-based offerings include VoIP, application-aware MPLS, unified threat management, unified messaging, contact center and mobile integration.

"Smoothstone's expertise at delivering cloud-based unified communications solutions is unrivaled," said Todd Strubbe, president of West's UC operating segment, in a statement. "By leveraging Smoothstone's unique solution portfolio and the benefits of the cloud-based services delivery model, our clients will be able to focus on business initiatives that help drive their competitive advantage rather than on evolving IT infrastructure."

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011, according to the companies. It's only the latest in a wave of M&A moves sweeping the networking, service provider and cloud communications markets in recent months.

West, the Omaha, Neb.-based contact center and communications services bigfoot, has itself made a large number of acquisitions -- vendor, integrator and service provider alike -- in the conferencing and UC spaces in the past decade. Those include InterCall in 2003, the conferencing assets of Sprint in 2005, Raindance in 2006, Genesys SA in 2008, Holly Connects, SKT Communications Solutions and Tuvox in 2010, and, earlier in 2011, Twenty First Century Communications, and, through InterCall, Unisfair and Preferred One Stop Technologies.

"West's commitment to the high-growth unified communications industry is clearly demonstrated with this and our other recent acquisitions in the space," said Tom Barker, West's CEO, in a statement. "West now claims a leadership position in unified communications with a broad, unique and reliable set of products. By leveraging the InterCall global distribution model with our long-term client relationships, West's opportunity for growth is improved as a result of these acquisitions."

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