Light Reading

Say Goodbye to Telcordia

Ray Le Maistre
6/3/2012
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Farewell, Telcordia, it was nice knowing you.

Sometimes.

With Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) having closed the $1.15 billion acquisition of the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) giant in January, the integration process has begun, with completion set for the end of the year. (See Ericsson to Buy Telcordia, Ericsson + Telcordia: What the Analysts Say and Euronews: Ericsson Seals Telcordia Deal.)

According to Martin Sundblad, director of portfolio management at Ericsson's Business Unit Support Systems (BUSS), the "vast majority" of Telcordia's staff are making the switch and will have transferred across to the Swedish vendor by Monday June 4. (See Ericsson Boards Its Own BUSS.)

That's also the day on which the Telcordia brand will cease to exist and the Telcordia portfolio will be rebranded as Ericsson, with the Operations Solutions line of business (including everyone's favorite, Osmine) joining Ericsson's OSS unit, Service Delivery Solutions (SDS) joining Ericsson's BSS unit and Interconnection Solutions (IS, mainly number portability solutions) remaining as a standalone unit. Services staff will join Ericsson's Global Services division.

So what will the Telcordia name be remembered for? Well, we have some lasting memories of the name here at Light Reading, most particularly the media ban the company slapped on us for four years (May 2004 to February 2008) allegedly because of perceived negative coverage. Here are some of our favorites:



— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:14 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


Telcordia was, at one time, a monopoly and a lot of the industry resented the Osmine process and saw it as a shakedown meant to kill competitors. Media bans are always entertaining, though. Worked out just perfectly for Lucent, Telcordia, and a half a dozen other companies I can't even remember.

FastCache
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FastCache,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:14 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


Any predictions who will be next to be acquired in the consolidation stakes?

VictorRBlake
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VictorRBlake,
User Rank: Moderator
12/5/2012 | 5:31:10 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


Tellabs

jayja
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jayja,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:31:08 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


NEBS, Verizon FOC-ITL program, etc.  Does that go in "Ericsson's Global Services"?  Does this mean Ericsson's gear will always pass (and competitors' will not)?

Anne Morris
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Anne Morris,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:06 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


We always missed you guys on the press trips! Media bans send out such bad signals. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how they fare under Ericsson...

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:05 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


Phil,


I thought a long time about this response and wonder if the lack of Telcordia functionality today is why E is buying it.


You talk about the cost of the OSMINE process and I think that any business plan that was RBOC targeted that did not include it was bunk.  On top of that you were talking about single digit millions of efforts when companies were getting 100s of millions in.  So, I do not believe that it was anti-competitive.  In fact, it was PRO competitive.  The companies that whined about it were those that were going to sell to CLECs.  When the CLECs went away they had products that were ready - but not OSMINED - and were out of money.  If they had done the OSMINE as part of their plan it would not have been a problem.  Now they had to remarket their products to the RBOCs and found that they had not spent their money in a way that would make them survive.


Look at E for example.  Maybe you should ask them if they are finally in the latest Alcatel OSS release for Access.  Every year this has mysteriously slipped by no fault of Alcatel.  And poor E could not sell anything until it was done.  I would bet they would LOVE to be able to pay Telcordia to get their products available for sale.


If you think about it from the carrier side, now they have to fund the effort to integrate the OSS themselves (or the product company does and at that point it is the same as OSMINE).  Do you think they are more likely or less likely to try out new vendors when they have to spend their resources in getting OSS integration done.


Were the tools obsolete?  Yes.  Was it time to improve and upgrade?  Yes.  Was Telcordia too slow?  Yes.  It is better now?  I don't think so.


seven


 

Soupafly
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Soupafly,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:31:05 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


Phil's post whilst accurate, could be read negatively.


Telcordia have done a great job down the years of providing the industry with a common set of standards & tools. Bear in mind that the origins of the telco industry in the US (in the modern era) came from a monopoly.


When that was broken up, a clear set of systems had to be established as a free market system running in oligoploy structure could lead to chaos. It very nearly did when you look at the old CS world & national calling in the US!


Telcordia is (having been raped by VC speculators) a good asset and will help ensure Ericsson US has a very strong base for quite awhile. It was a fabulous strategic move to acquire it.


Next to consolidate; Ciena. 


Buyers: Cisco, Dell, HP or IBM.


Cisco; World class optical & ethernet portfolio, with strength in depth.


Dell/ HP/ IBM: Move service & platform integration onto a whole new level of depth, in terms of a proposition to the market place & industry verticals.


 

DCITDave
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DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:02 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


If it was such a good thing for the industry, why did so many vendors, of all sizes, even with Tier 1 customers, trash it because of the cost?


Also, I think you make a good point from the carrier POV. They want consistency and predictability and it's great when someone else pays to ensure they're getting it from the vendor community.


The E vs. A item -- I think there's a story there.


ph

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:31:01 PM
re: Say Goodbye to Telcordia


There was a single Optical tool that was very expensive and funded by some equipment folks.  It became a standard and follow on users had to reimburse the original funders.  That was the most anti-competitive aspect.


I really think you need to go back to those heady days of optical startups and CLECs.  I remember trying to get vendors to come to AFC and sell me things.  They all went to Mahi and Turin and Calix.  Very few (Infineon and TI were about my only consistent ones) would visit AFC.  It was that way for a bit and systems vendors were focusing on CLECs...even people like Nortel.  Because if they had originally built their plans for the RBOCs they would have pre-planned for the OSMINE spending.  People would whine about OSMINE (heck I whined about it in budget meetings), but it was like a tax on doing RBOC (and only RBOC) business.  Those CLEC products were built and poof nobody wanted them.  In a similar vein, we bought an IAD company to provide product to Winstar (GVN).  By the time we got the product working, nobody wanted it.  I think that is the way the systems vendors felt across the board - Hey we built this and it works...but nobody will buy it without OSMINE and my business plan has blown up because of it.


So, the question is....Are we better off now?  The death of OSMINE is not the only thing that killed multi-sourcing.  But it sure didn't help new entrants into a market.  Now instead of having a product and being able to guarantee it is OSS complete, you have to wait for some vendor or carrier to include it in their offering.  This definitely changes the way Product Management and funding works.  


seven


 

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