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May 26, 2011
Hosted messaging and cloud service provider Intermedia is being acquired by private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners for an undisclosed sum. What does that mean for Intermedia’s 6,800-strong channel partner base? A few things, but Intermedia maintains it will stay the course when the deal closes in the second quarter of 2011. But there’s one major change that’s going down the second the contracts are signed: Phil Koen, former CEO of Savvis, will be taking the helm at Intermedia. I had the chance to chat with Koen briefly ahead of Intermedia’s announcement:
Apparently, the deal was a case of “right place, right time” – Koen said he was looking to get back into the cloud services game, Oak Hill was looking to make to make its entry into the marketplace, and Intermedia founder Michael Choupak was looking to move on to something new after about a decade and a half.
Previously, as CEO of managed service provider Savvis, Koen oversaw the company’s entry into the cloud. And he’s bringing that same optimism to Intermedia as chairman and CEO. Intermedia is in a very strong market position right now, he said, with an exemplary focus on what he calls the “three C’s:” collaboration, communication and content management services.
While he declined to commit to detailing his plans for any specific product area – cough, hosted PBX, cough – Koen said Intermedia is not going back the way it came. And that extends to Intermedia’s partner commitments, too, with Koen affirming he’s a huge fan of the company’s HostPilot customer portal, which lets users pick and choose their value-added services.
In short, Koen’s message boils down to “stay tuned.” He had nothing but kind words about Intermedia’s partner community, and promises the company is going to “crank up” everything MSPs and cloud service providers like about selling Intermedia products. The company is going to bring on more talent, enhance its technology, and boost training to meet the “tidal wave” of customers looking to move to the cloud.
While Koen indicated Intermedia isn’t afraid of Microsoft – and in fact, is looking forward to cooperating with the vendor to reach different customers when Office 365 finally drops – there’s still a lot of competition in the hosted messaging services space. We’ll be monitoring Intermedia closely through the deal’s closing and beyond, so stay tuned.
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