Exclusive: Console Connect disappears as PCCW Global and revived IX Reach split the assets
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Exclusive: Console Connect disappears as PCCW Global and revived IX Reach split the assets

PCCW Global and a revived company, IX Reach, have split the assets of Console Connect in a pair of separate, but unannounced deals.

PCCW Global has acquired Console Connect’s brand, platform, and technology team, but its network assets and customer contracts have been hived off and put under separate ownership under the name IX Reach.

According to Capacity’s information, Paul Gampe, the CTO of Console Connect, is joining PCCW Global to manage the assets, which will be paired with PCCW Global global connectivity infrastructure.

In the separate deal, Stephen Wilcox, former owner and founder of IX Reach – which was acquired by Console Connect in 2015 – has taken back what are described as “certain network assets and customer contracts from Console Connect that will now be operated independently as a global network platform under the name IX Reach”.

Capacity’s recent reports say that in July Console Connect announced the general availability of CloudNexus, claimed to be the world’s first automated cloud-to-cloud direct connection solution for the enterprise. It announced “significant growth of its X-as-a-Service (XaaS) ecosystem” in April. And in March it announced integration with Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute in seven new locations, including Silicon Valley, Toronto and London.

It is still unclear why the company decided to split its assets between PCCW Global and IX Reach. Capacity has put questions about the decision to relevant parties. 

According to our information the Bank Street Group, a private banking firm, served as exclusive financial advisor to Console Connect in connection with these transactions. The deals have not been formally announced, but IX Reach’s website has an FAQ for its newly acquired customers, and the “contact us” section of Console Connect’s website says: “Console Connect is now part of PCCW Global. We are in the process of integration, whereby new service will soon be available.”

The IX Reach site says: “On October 7th IX Reach acquired Console’s global network business. In practical terms, Console Connect’s UK subsidiaries became a new independent business and customers of Console’s USA and Canadian subsidiaries have moved under this structure.”

However, it warns that IX Reach customers can no longer access or use Console Connect’s portal. “Customers will no longer be able to log in, socialise with other users or view their usage and configuration.” The site tells customers to talk to their account manager.

The site adds: “Console Network Solutions Ltd is now IX Reach Ltd” and “Console USA and Console Canada is now IX Reach International Ltd”.

The Console Connect site directs people to a PCCW Global email address and adds: “We will arrange an immediate response to your inquiry once the service is ready.”

Capacity received overnight a draft press release that has not been distributed. “It’s not going over the wires,” said Capacity’s contact in the industry, without saying why.

The unreleased release says that Console Connect, “a prominent provider of global interconnection solutions, announced today that HKT Trust and PCCW Global have combined to acquire Console Connect’s advanced software platform and proprietary technology, including the Console Connect brand, platform, and technology team working under the leadership of Paul Gampe, the CTO of Console Connect.”

It continues: “These assets will be paired with PCCW Global’s extensive and resilient global connectivity infrastructure which today serves an extensive array of multinational enterprises, service providers, and cloud applications providers, and will also be deployed to enhance HKT’s world-leading range of consumer and enterprise services.”

The undistributed release says that Console Connect “is an enterprise software and interconnection company founded in 2011 by Al Burgio. The company’s sophisticated highly-automated connectivity platform has provided enterprises direct access to an ecosystem of business-critical cloud infrastructure providers and other enterprises with the click of a button.”

According to his LinkedIn profile Burgio founded Console – originally IIX – in 2011 to build a platform that “enables any-to-any collaboration globally, for clouds, networks and enterprises”. IIX acquired Allegro Networks in October 2014 and IX Reach in March 2015, and the whole company changed its name to Console in May 2016. His entry still lists him as board member and chief strategy officer of Console.

Burgio told Capacity this morning: “With various leading companies across the industry interested in acquiring the Console software platform, the company took the opportunity to engage Bank Street to also separately sell Console’s global network backbone.”

He added: “It is great to see the Console software platform acquired by a large company like PCCW that is able to leverage the software globally to provide additional connectivity solutions.”

Burgio added in a later email: “No, I have not joined IX Reach. Now that these acquisitions are complete, I will soon kick off the development of my next venture.” 

Mike van den Bergh, CMO of PCCW Global, confirmed the deal following an email request from Capacity. He forwarded a statement headed “Console Connect acquired”, dated 6 November, that is similar to the text passed to Capacity overnight from industry sources.

Wilcox’s LinkedIn profile shows that he founded IX Reach in February 2007 and was IIX’s president EMEA and chief of global networks from March 2015 to April 2017, and at the same time chief of global networks of Console Connect from April 2015 to April 2017. He now describes himself as owner of IX Reach.

Gampe, who according to our information is joining PCCW Global, is still listed on LinkedIn as CTO of IIX Australia since November 2014.

It is only seven months since Jef Graham, appointed CEO of Console Connect in September 2016, announced four new C-suite appointments: Brad Mandell as chief revenue officer, John McAdoo as chief financial officer, Teri Francis as chief product officer and Greg Schwimer as chief network officer. 

Their appointments were announced in April 2017, but the announcement – along with almost all other content – has been removed from the Console Connect site. It is not clear whether any of the five, Graham plus the four April appointments, have joined IX Reach or PCCW Global.