We’ve known for some time that InterCall was actively looking for an acquisition of a virtual event platform, correct that, virtual environment platform to add to its Stream57 event streaming and webcasting business which it acquired last year. It’s no surprise that it chose Unisfair as it is a great platform and it’s been rumored that their VCs have been looking for an exit opportunity. Plus, both companies have a great culture with dedicated people who are focused on seeing their customers succeed.
To me, what is going to be very interesting is what happens next. Ben Chodor who was the founder of Stream57 is a very sharp guy and really gets it. He, I presume, is going to be running the business unit within InterCall (but I haven’t asked them that yet) and he has what I think is the right vision. The vision is BIG! We are (still) at the very early stages of where and how these technologies will impact the business world but if they live up to their potential, I believe it will be huge and those that have their foot in the door with customers will likely be there for a very long time. Some call it a “land grab” situation right now.
The thing is, once an organization finds a platform that they are happy with and assuming that platform can scale and function like a multitenant, persistent environment (a platform that is an ongoing virtual environment that an organization can use for multiple events, meetings and purposes, where many marketing groups can copy, build and deploy events and spaces, and attendees register once and have a persistent profile and, briefcase, history etc.) how would they ever leave? It’s possible, but if everything is working as it should from a price, performance, features and function standpoint why would they ever change? So it will be a land grab producing long-term customer relationships.
It may be an unfair land grab now as InterCall just became the 800 pound gorilla in the market. InterCall has 800 sales people deployed around the globe (all in need of a Digital Event Strategist certification!). "With the acquisition of Unisfair, InterCall can now offer complete end-to-end virtual event solutions – from simple webcasts to comprehensive, immersive virtual shows – on a proprietary platform," said Scott Etzler, president of InterCall. "Until recently, the ability to host virtual events and environments were nice-to-haves for companies but have evolved into the next must-have technology. By expanding our offerings in this area, InterCall is truly keeping in-step with the constantly evolving face of domestic and global business communication needs."
Overall, this is great news for the industry and having 800 more solution evangelists out there knocking on doors is just what the industry needs. This will help drive the industry further and faster!