Comcast Business to acquire network service provider Masergy

Masergy could bring needed midsize to large enterprise business to Comcast Business. Masergy, based in Plano, Texas, provides managed SD-WANs, cloud security and UCaaS.

Comcast Business has agreed to acquire Masergy Communications -- a move that would launch the cable provider into the mid to large enterprise market for managed software-defined WAN, unified communications as a service, and security for cloud and SaaS applications.

Comcast Business announced the acquisition of the privately held company this week. It did not disclose financial terms or when it expected to complete the deal.

Masergy, which has more than 1,400 customers across 100 countries, provides managed SD-WAN from Fortinet and Silver Peak, which Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired last year. It also provides UCaaS and call center as a service through a partnership with Cisco.

Comcast Business, a subsidiary of Comcast Corp., is primarily a commercial broadband, IP telephony and cable television provider.

"Masergy provides a perfect complement to our portfolio of enterprise services and solutions, and will allow us to instantly and dramatically amplify our growth in the global enterprise market," said Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business, in a statement.

Masergy's customer base comprises mostly midsize enterprises, with some larger organizations. According to Gartner, the company has "limited experience" with global networks of a thousand locations or more.

Masergy's focus is on delivering managed SD-WAN and providing cloud security based on a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) model. SASE is a cloud architecture that bundles networking -- typically SD-WAN -- and security as a service together in a single product. Masergy's security services include threat detection and response, cloud workload protection and a cloud access security broker.

"Masergy has been pushing hard on the SD-WAN, SASE front using technology partner products from the likes of Fortinet and Bitglass, as well as some of their own in-house capabilities," said Roy Chua, principal analyst at AvidThink.

Masergy's managed services provide Comcast with the opportunity to reach into the midsize and large enterprise markets, "which is not where Comcast plays today," Chua said.

Berkshire Partners sold the Plano, Texas-based Masergy to Comcast Business. Berkshire bought Masergy in 2016 from private equity firm Abry Partners.

Antone Gonsalves is the news director for the Networking Media Group. He has deep and wide experience in tech journalism. Since the mid-1990s, he has worked for InformationWeek, TechWeb and Computer Reseller News. He has also written for PC Week, CSOonline and CruxialCIO, and rounded all of that out by covering startups for Bloomberg News. He started his journalism career at United Press International, working as a reporter and editor in California, Texas, Kansas and Florida.

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