Thinking Phone Networks pockets $16.5 million in VC funding

Cloud-based UC firm is ready to take a run at the Gartner 'leader' quadrant

With $16.5 million in newly minted VC funding, Thinking Phone Networks is looking to move up into the "leader" position in Gartner's cloud-based unified communications (UC) magic quadrant report.

Thinking Phone Networks, a Cambridge, Mass.-based enterprise cloud-based UC provider, just secured $16.5 million from an investment group led by Advanced Technology Ventures (ATV) and Bessemer Venture Partners. Following the investment, ATV's Bob Hower and Bessemer's Bob Goodman joined the Thinking Phone board.

The company plans to invest the money in expanding its sales, marketing and support services internationally, enhancing its ThinkingSuite communications delivery ecosystem and growing its global partnership network.

Thinking Phone Networks said it is well positioned to capitalize on changes in the enterprise communications marketplace, such as cloud-based UC and BYOD. It also bragged that its revenues have doubled in each of the last three years.

The company plans to gain market share by offering midsize and larger enterprises integrated and analytics-driven single platform collaboration capabilities spanning mobility, voice, video, presence, messaging, conferencing and contact center.

Recognizing the up and coming cloud UC provider, Gartner named Thinking Phone as a "visionary" in its Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) Magic Quadrant report. There were no leaders in last year's report.

In the report, Gartner identified four strengths for Thinking Phone: Customers cite a positive support relationship with the company's technical staff and its customer portal has been improved; the company's ThinkingSuite portfolio can integrate desktop video with dedicated video room systems; customers choose the company for its ability to provide a combined cloud VoIP and contact center capability; and the company has strong analytic tool capabilities for application integration and business process improvement.

Gartner also cited three weaknesses: The company's web conferencing functionality is immature; some users, especially larger users, may prefer branded solutions; and the private company has limited brand name recognition and limited resources, which constrain growth potential.

With $16.5 million in its pocket, Thinking Phone is taking care of the limited resources problem. Now, it just has to further develop its web conferencing product and improve its brand recognition and it will be ready to make a run at the coveted Gartner "leader" quadrant.

For more:
- see Thinking Phone's release
- read Gartner's UCaaS report

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