& cplSiteName &

2007 Top Ten: Big OSS Stories

Ray Le Maistre
12/26/2007
50%
50%

Acquisition activity dominated the OSS landscape again in 2007, and there's every chance market consolidation will create the biggest telecom software news stories again in 2008.

But scrape beneath the surface of the year's top takeover news, mix it in with an undercurrent of ad hoc news announcements, and a few interesting trends emerge.

Those trends include: The convergence of so-called "traditional" OSS systems with new-fangled service creation platforms to meet the needs of carriers' next-generation network strategies; the increasingly intense battle between best-of-breed and all-in-one OSS offerings; and the growing strength of the Indian telecom software power base. (See EuroBites: OSS Matters and Turning Point for OSS.)

We've also noticed how network planning has become the new battleground of the OSS vendor community -- expect that particular niche, which emerged from the software closet in the past year, to be hot in 2008. (See Aria Tunes Into PBT , ProVision Offers 4G Planning Tool, Amdocs, GE Team Up, Gridpoint Plans PBT, BT Uses VPIsystems's OSS, and Telenor Uses More Comptel.)

So, without further ado, here's our look at the past year's Big OSS news stories.

10. Amdocs adds to its arsenal
Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) is one of the small group of OSS heavyweights that have the financial, portfolio, and services muscle to break into almost any carrier back office.

Befitting a company that turns over $700 million-plus in revenues per quarter, it added to its arsenal of capabilities in 2007 by acquiring billing and service delivery specialist SigValue, which specializes in integrated telecom software primarily targeted at mobile operators in emerging markets. (See Amdocs Continues Spending Spree and Amdocs Reports Q4.)

9. Oracle becomes a trendsetter
Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), which has had another busy year in the telecom sector, is one of the heavy hitters that, along with the likes of Amdocs and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), is pushing for carriers to adopt integrated back office capabilities largely sourced from one supplier.

In November it announced its Unified Inventory Management, which can hook up with Oracle's ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) systems -- that's quite an accomplishment, and a potential attraction for operators. (See Oracle Leads OSS News Charge.)

The vendor also continued its OSS acquisition spree by announcing in September it was buying Netsure Telecom , a specialist in (drum roll, please...) network planning and optimization. Trendy, or what? (See Oracle Buys Another OSS Firm.)

Oracle also made an aborted takeover bid for OSS and SDP player BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS). That topic will surely rise again in 2008. (See Oracle Lets BEA Go.)

8. India adds to OSS power base
India is one of the main go-to countries for OSS and applications development these days, boasting as it does a host of large, skilled firms with telecom know-how. (See Who Does What: Outsourcing to India, Aricent Crashes Telecom Software Party, BT Picks Tech Mahindra, and Wipro Buys Infocrossing.)

Among those firms is Megasoft Ltd. , which announced in July it was buying billing services firm Boston Communications Group Inc. (Nasdaq: BCGI). (See Megasoft Bids for Boston Comms.)

An interesting move in itself, but what really caught our eye was Megasoft's sense of humor -- it set up a subsidiary called Tea Party Acquisition to make the purchase, which closed in August. (See MegaSoft Completes Boston Buy.)

Tea Party? Boston Comms? GEDDIT!!!????

7. Funding rarity
July 2007 witnessed an event as rare as positive news coverage of Britney Spears -- VC funding for an OSS firm.

The firm was data migration specialist Celona Technologies Ltd. , which raised $14 million. They're still partying, apparently. (See OSS Firm Raises $14M.)

It's worth noting that Celona wasn't the only OSS firm to raise some cash in 2007 -- Intelliden Corp. pocketed $10 million in May. (See Intelliden Gets $10M.)

6. AT&T pulls its CARTS into view
Carriers don't come much bigger than AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), so its NGN strategy is something close to the hearts and minds of pretty much every telecom vendor.

In June Siroos Afshar, a chief architect at AT&T Labs, told Light Reading about CARTS (Common Architecture for Real-Time Services), part of the operator's vision of how it will function in the future. (See AT&T Defines Service Creation Platform.)

AT&T's vision is important because it shows how major carriers envisage the interworking between OSS and service delivery platforms (SDPs), and, in AT&T's case, shows how views are evolving about how IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) could play a role in NGNs.

Find out more about AT&T's progress with its CARTS, and its service creation plans, in our updated report on IMS. (See What's Up With IMS?)

5. Spirent sticks with OSS
Here's a news event that many people weren't expecting -- Spirent Communications plc decided NOT to exit the OSS sector. (See Spirent Cuts Deeper, Sticks With OSS.)

For now, anyway.

The reason? Hanging onto its service assurance business unit is "not hurrying us," noted executive chairman Ed Bramson in early November.

Further signs that the test equipment vendor is turning itself around financially came recently when Spirent announced that its performance in the second half of the year was better than expected. (See Spirent Gets a Lift.)

4. Subex swallows Syndesis
It was only a matter of time before Syndesis got acquired, but no one predicted it would be Indian revenue assurance firm Subex Ltd. that would buy the IP provisioning system specialist for $165 million. (See Syndesis Strikes $165M Takeover.)

The team at Subex, or Subex Azure as it was then, reckoned it needed to make the move out of its comfort zone and into the wider telecom software world if it was to run with the sector's big boys. (See Subex Targets OSS Giants.)

3. Ericsson eyes converged billing
If it moves, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) will buy it.

OK, that's maybe a bit much of a generalization, but, given the Swedish firm's track acquisition record from the past year or so, which won it the M&A gong at this year's Leading Lights awards, you can see what we mean. (See LR Names 2007 Leading Lights Winners, Ericsson Invests in IPTV Smarts, Ericsson Lands Tandberg TV, Ericsson Buys Entrisphere, and Ericsson Buys Openwave Rival.)

One of the firms purchased by Ericsson was billing specialist LHS Group . (See Ericsson Buys Billing Vendor LHS.)

Why? Because the giant Swedish meatball was already a major player in the pre-paid billing systems market, but wanted to create a converged (pre-paid and post-paid) billing platform, which is what every major carrier worth its salt will likely want in the future.

Ericsson followed up that June news with another software purchase, this time of service delivery platform specialist Drutt. (See Ericsson Snaps Up SDP Firm.)

2. Telcordia still out there
The ongoing saga surrounding the future ownership of Telcordia Technologies Inc. continued this year, with sources suggesting there was a shortlist of potential buyers that would need the consent of a major systems integration player if they were to get the acquisition green light. (See Telcordia's Takeover Shortlist .)

Maybe 2008 will see all the right conditions for a Telcordia takeover finally met. And if the trigger is pulled maybe it'll herald the entrance of yet another IT giant into the OSS space...

1. SAP targets telecom
SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP) set its stall out in May, telling Light Reading that it intends to be a player in the OSS sector. (See SAP's Rising in OSS.)

If SAP decides to enter the market, and add to the $500 million in revenues it already generates from carriers' use of its business software platforms, we're hoping it'll be with a big bang acquisition -- Telcordia? Or BEA maybe? -- that will revamp the sector's makeup.

So come on SAP, get a move on!

— The Staff, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Is Cable One Beefing Up for Slaughter?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 1/20/2017
Google Security Lessons for IT
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 1/18/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.