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CoralTree Adds Video Smarts to the NetCracker Suite

Ray Le Maistre

NetCracker has acquired UK-based cable industry OSS, BSS and systems integration specialist CoralTree Systems to help it speed up its network operator transformation project delivery process, the telecom software vendor announced Tuesday. (See Netcracker Beefs Up Video Capabilities With CoralTree Buy.)

Details are scarce about the acquisition: Netcracker Technology Corp. is not announcing a purchase price or talking about CoralTree's revenues or profitability, though it says this is not a "distressed company" acquisition, suggesting that it's not in any financial difficulties. NetCracker also isn't discussing the size or scope of the specialist firm's customer base, other than to say there is some overlap with its existing cable industry customer portfolio. CoralTree's website cites a number of European cable customers, including Unitymedia Kabel BW, UPC Poland, Kabel Deutschland GmbH and PrimaCom AG (Nasdaq: PCAG; Frankfurt: PRC).

The key asset that NetCracker is buying, it seems, is CoralTree's staff, who, according to NetCracker, have significant experience in deploying OSS and BSS systems at cable operators, particularly for the support of video services.

"We are growing very fast as a company and we need to add resources to help with the delivery of BSS and OSS projects and to provide systems integration services," notes Ari Banerjee, senior director of strategy at NetCracker. "CoralTree has a skilled workforce that can help us deliver large, complex projects. Cable as a market has been huge for us but now telcos and enterprises are doing more with video as they become digital [operations]." (See Bright House Deploys NetCracker CRM Solution, Suddenlink Turns to NetCracker for Managed Services and Suddenlink Deploys NetCracker CRM Solution.)

(Note: NetCracker states it is growing a great deal faster than the OSS/BSS market in general, but declines to provide any detailed financial evidence to support the claim.)

CoralTree's staff may be skilled but there are not many of them: Again NetCracker declines to provide an exact number, or say whether they will all migrate to the new owner -- "human resources synergies are being worked out" -- but Banerjee says the headcount is in "the high double digits."

That's only about 1% of NetCracker's existing professional services workforce (about 6,000 to 8,000 staff members) but the company is desperate to find more skilled practitioners to help with large digital transformation projects. Banerjee says NetCracker is on the lookout for other companies with similar skill sets to buy.

The acquisition also gives NetCracker some video service activation tools that are complementary to its existing service fulfillment suite (though, again, details are not forthcoming), but the deal is really about the workforce, stresses Banerjee. "Our main challenge right now is to do with growth. This deal will help us with that and accelerate the delivery of existing projects." (See NetCracker Lands Deals Across Asia-Pacific , SKY Television Expands Relationship With NetCracker, Telefónica Selects NetCracker for Massive BSS Transformation and Swisscom Rebuilds Its Back Office With NEC & NetCracker.)

NetCracker's main rivals in the global OSS/BSS and digital transformation market are Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL).

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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User Rank: Blogger
7/13/2016 | 4:21:56 AM
professional services battleground
Further indication that the back office battle will be fought with professional services/systems integration troops - but as netCracker's banerjee noted, skilled staff/teams are not that easy to find.  
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