Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BT gobbles ribbit, WHY?

So all the rumors that were floating around couple of days back about BT buying ribbit turned out to be true. No smoke without fire. Today BT acquired ribbit for $105 million dollar cash. This is indeed very good news for platform players. I was surprised by the amount that was paid for the acquisition. Considering ribbit has only couple of thousand developers, this must have been a great offer for ribbit to reject the deal. In addition, BT with their 21CN platform is truly innovative and a great initiative coming from operator. I’m very positive; jajah is the next target for acquisition. I don’t have much information about their platform developer program. I know for sure they have a platform that is catering voice and messaging service to some of the big companies in the industry.

So let’s take a look at why and what is the rationale behind BT buying ribbit.
BT currently runs its own platform play called 21CN. 21CN is BT’s global, software driven customer network that introduces a new, simpler portfolio of next generation services.
21CN in a nutshell:
• driving a radical simplification
• BT's enabling infrastructure for growth
• a world class customer experience
• greater control, choice and flexibility
• today's most complete, exciting and ambitious business transformation
• implementation and industry consultation is underway
• it applies to our international business too

So the goal of 21CN is to provide end-users ability to access voice messages, data or video at any time on any device. In addition, provide users the option to share personal contact directory across their home phone, PC, mobile and PDA. I see a great potential in this type of applications and it’s heartening to hear that this initiative is coming from an operator. BT is quite focused on growing as an open global network. Lately, most of the telecom operators have realized the potential of open network and the developer community. I guess the thought of being a mere dump pipe is driving most of these operators to think beyond the walled garden.

This is where ribbit, another independent platform player minus customer base is playing the role of providing developers with all the tools required to build Telco 2.0 type applications. Ribbit platform enables developers to bring together the richness of voice calling and Web 2.0 experiences. This platform enables faster, simpler ways of build voice and messaging apps that can be integrated into the web 2.0 worlds.

Though some of the functionality is already built in 21CN, ribbit brings in lot of additional features and interfaces that BT can leverage with its existing platform. Some statistics of developers, BT has around 9,000 developers and ribbit around 5000. It’s not a lot for sure. However, considering BT huge vision of rolling out 21CN across 170 countries, this merger has great potential. I wouldn’t be surprised if BT shops around more. Om is skeptic about the whole deal, reason being the promise of BT 21 CN was never fulfilled. I personally believe there is huge potential in this type of platform, and it’s the future. Having operator alongside shall have huge impact. We are talking about millions of subscribers here. I see facebook, myspace, apple appstore, telco 2.0 etc as the future platform players. In fact, Telco 2.0 platform can be used to build applications for any of these web 2.0 communities. Check out my earlier article on platform API’s revenue model .

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emergency loan said...

Ive read this somewhere else.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, thats a lot of money for a pure platform play. After syndeos debacle, ribbit became their cash cow

Industrial Guru said...

I also have read about this before at this site here, check it out.