C Spire announced plans recently to acquire Callis Communications, a fast-growing provider of cloud-based unified communications as a service for businesses. The merger is still pending regulatory approval, but upon completion would expand the provider’s technology footprint tremendously in the local area.
The nation’s largest privately held wireless communications company, C Spire is headquartered in Ridgeland, Miss., and employs nearly 1,200. They provide diversified telecommunications and technology services to consumers and businesses.
Mobile, Alabama-based Callis Communications serves customers in key business markets across the Southeast and, for the sixth consecutive year, was recognized as one of the fastest growing telecommunications and cloud communications companies on the Inc. 5,000 list.
Founded in 1999 as a paging provider, Callis became a facilities-based competitive local exchange carrier and Internet service provider in 2005; delivering private branch exchange service and IP based solutions to small and medium sized businesses throughout the Gulf Coast region.
In 2009, Callis expanded throughout the Southeast to become a cloud-based unified communications company, providing hosted private branch exchange services, cloud-based telephony, data security, email and collaboration solutions.
The company is one of the founding members of the Cloud Communications Alliance, an industry peer association dedicated to fostering the growth and innovation of cloud communications.
“For over 25 years, C Spire has built a large and highly loyal customer base with an unmatched focus on providing exceptional service and taking the business needs of its customers personally,” Dean Parker, president and CEO of Callis said. “That core value is what has defined Callis, and it’s why this is a great combination. We are confident our customers will continue to be in great hands as C Spire brings its customer-inspired approach to their business technology and communications needs.”
The acquisition is the latest in a series of moves by C Spire signaling the company’s accelerated and expanded focus on business, government, and consumer technology solutions.
In September, the provider launched the nation’s largest statewide initiative to bring ultra-fast 1 gigabit per second fiber-based Internet access to homes in nine Mississippi cities.
In November, C Spire broke ground on a new $20 million Tier III+ data center in Starkville, Miss., which will power a full suite of enterprise cloud services and solutions for businesses across the Southeast region.
“Like C Spire, Callis has a highly experienced team with a long tradition of serving its customers with excellence, making this a winning combination,” Hu Meena, president and CEO of C Spire said. “In addition to the cloud-based solutions available today, we plan to provide a greatly expanded and comprehensive suite of world-class cloud-based computing and enterprise application solutions from our new state-of-the-art tandem of data centers.”
C Spire expects final regulatory approval of the merger within the next 60 days.
PDQ in Alabama
Two-year-old, Tampa-based restaurant franchise PDQ (People Dedicated to Quality) recently opened for business in the Port City. This is their first foray into Alabama (16th store) with new groundbreakings planned in Auburn, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham over the next 12 to 18 months.
PDQ is a fast casual restaurant specializing in chicken tenders, salads and sandwiches made popular locally by the likes of Foosackly’s and Zaxbys, among others.
Locally owned and operated by Mobile native Chris Pfeiffer, the location is 4,300-square-feet. Realtor Burton Clark represented the sale of the land located on University Blvd. to PDQ. An official ribbon cutting with the Mobile Chamber of Commerce is slated for Q1 of 2014.
Target’s data-security nightmare threw a massive scare into holiday shoppers during the company’s busiest time of year. Just a week before Christmas, the nation’s second-largest discounter acknowledged that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The theft marks the second-largest credit card breach in U.S. history, exceeded only by a scam that began in 2005 involving retailer TJX Cos. (TJ Maxx) and affected at least 45.7 million card users.
“The fact this breach can happen with all of their security in place is really alarming,” Lee R. Donald, president of local web-based organizing company LeeLogic Inc. said.“One thing I try to emphasize to clients is that they should use different passwords and not recycle the passwords from month to month. They should change their credentials on a regular basis. Yes, doing these things can take time and be a bother, but would you prefer to spend time deal with changing your password on a regular basis or recovering losses stolen by a cyber-thief has?”
Often asked is how frequently someone needs to change login credentials, especially on social media. The simplest answer, Donald said, is to make a determination on how critical and/or sensitive the information is to an individual end-user.
Per Donald, changing a password does not automatically ensure your information is safe, but it does deter potential hackers.
“In a meeting with a business owner this week, I was asked if our SaaS could be used to share information internally. I realized that he wanted to create an intranet, which he could use. He thought for a minute and shared with me that the main reason his extended family uses Facebook is to share family photos and events, but they did not like having all of the children’s pictures on the web, and really didn’t like the spam,” Donald said.
“To protect all of the children, they are looking for an alternative to FB. I offered our secure cloud based solution, MobilLogic. With many ways to set it up, they can share photos and other family info privately,” Donald continued.
Happy Holidays, Lagniappe readers. See you in 2014!
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