Zeacom to IPO as unified comms market sizzles

The company is undecided whether to opt for the local or Australian bourse

Auckland-based unified communications software company Zeacom plans a public listing for the middle of next year, but is undecided whether to opt for the local or Australian bourse.

Last week, Zeacom advertised for a marketing communications manager to act as “the public face of the company when it goes to float”.

Chief executive Miles Valentine says plans are at the early stage but are “pretty serious” and the company is actively talking to market commentators and sharebrokers.

“The biggest dependency is market conditions,” he says.

The unified communications market ignited this year with major companies such as Cisco, Microsoft and Nortel all outlining ambitious strategies to deliver systems that unite email, mobile, landline and other communications platforms such as instant messaging into a single interface.

Valentine says while the NZX is favoured for the listing, the company has retained a consultancy to study the option of an Australian listing.

Valentine says Datasquirt’s ASX listing was pretty successful for a company of its size.

“That means we have to look at Australian markets as well,” he says.

However, Valentine says the initial and overriding preference is still for a New Zealand listing. He says it will be interesting to see whether the local analysts fully appreciate the unified communications market’s potential.

“In New Zealand, the analysts are fairly general, while in the US they are incredibly vertical and specialised,” he says.

Because there are so few software companies listed on the NZX, the degree of analyst knowledge concerning the space is fairly limited, he says.

The entire telephony space is “consumed” by unified communications, he adds.

“It’s way more significant than IP telephony. IP telephony is just an infrastructure.”

Valentine says Zeacom has completed a rebranding of its products, and its new website is due to go live this week.

An extranet will be added as part of the company’s online strategy about a week later.

A partnership has also been sealed with NEC, to take Zeacom’s products to market in the US, while local sales, through Telecom, are also going well, Valentine says.

“We have something unique and the market is really starting to move.” The next step for the company is a serious promotional push into the US market, says Valentine.

Zeacom was founded in 1994. It released its Unified Communications Centre 4.1 product in June. This combines the company’s two previous products, Zeacom Contact Centre and Zeacom Chorus.

The company now has 110 staff, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, California and London, in addition to its head office in Auckland.

In July, Valentine told Computerworld that Zeacom has 2,400 customers: 250 in New Zealand; 700 in Australia; 900 in the US; and 200 each in Asia and the UK, as well as a smattering elsewhere around the world.

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Tags Zeacomunified communicationIPO

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