Light Reading
IT giants and India have been at the heart of the sector's M&A action

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 (NYSE: SPM; London: SPT) 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
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Rogers, Shaw Take Aim at Netflix
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 8/26/2014
Utilities to Pump $11.2B Into Smart Grid – Study
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 8/26/2014
Verizon Launches QR Code Security Solution
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2014
Nokia's Maps Land on Samsung Devices
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/29/2014
Verizon to Launch HD VoLTE in 'Coming Weeks'
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/26/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed