Hosted VoIP Acquisition: Warwick Valley Telephone Buys Alteva

Warwick Valley Telephone (WVT) of New York has acquired Alteva LLC, a cloud-based unified communications (UC) solutions and VoIP provider, for $17 million. Alteva, based in Philadelphia, Pa., claims to be North America's largest provider of enterprise VoIP services. WVT plans to integrate its USA Datanet (a CLEC) business with Alteva, which also has a growing Microsoft business practice.

Alteva has been blending VoIP with cloud services and hosted unified communications for more than a year. Based in Philadelphia, Alteva today announced enhancements to its Channel Partner Program -- which includes hosted VoIP integrated with Microsoft Communication Services, including Exchange, Office Communications Server (OCS) and SharePoint.

MSPmentor is checking to see if Alteva also plans to support Lync, a successor to OCS that's widely expected to become Microsoft's next $1 billion business. UPDATE, 9:20 a.m. ET, July 18: An Alteva spokeswoman says the company is not selling Lync yet because "Lync is not yet available in a multi-tenant environment. Since Alteva’s solution is completely hosted, we are sticking with OCS for now."

According to Alteva, the company's partner program has four levels:

  1. Alteva UC Certified Partners: This level offers partners the highest commission rate in the Alteva program, though the company did not publicly disclose the commission rate. This level is for partners who have completed the Alteva UC Sales Certification training program, Alteva said.
  2. Alteva Premier Partners: Offers partners a commission percentage if the partner retains a specified quarterly quota determined by their Alteva Channel Manager.
  3. Alteva Preferred Partners: Offers partners commission with no quarterly quotas.
  4. Alteva Referral Partners: These partners receive commission for referring business that results in a sale.
Each partner is assigned a dedicated UC Sales Certified channel manager no matter under which partner level they join Alteva’s partner community.

Alteva has spent more than a year strengthening its Microsoft-centric hosted solutions. In March 2010, Alteva launched a Microsoft-integrated UC solution for SMBs. That set the table for Alteva to offer an IP phone rental program to SMBs that require 10 headsets or more in an effort to improve channel partner sales.

Speaking about WVT's buyout of Alteva, WVT President and CEO Duane Albro said in a prepared statement:
"We believe we have found a strong partner in Alteva, a fast growing UC service provider which has a complementary business, a well regarded brand, and shared values that will both benefit from and contribute to WVT's future success."
Assuming the deal receives regulatory approval, WVT expects to complete the Alteva buyout by the end of Q3 2011.

Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri.
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