Optical/IP Networks

Vendors Take On Service Management

In a rush of acquisition activity, network equipment vendors have put their operations support system (OSS) houses in order and are ready to take back the service delivery platform (SDP) field from IT vendors and systems integrators through the creation of common service management platforms, according to the latest Light Reading Services Software Insider.

"IT vendors had stolen a march on the SDP... but equipment vendors have come back now," says Caroline Chappell, Heavy Reading analyst at large and author of the report, "Service Management: The Key to SDP/OSS Integration."

In part, they've done it through acquisition. Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) acquired service fulfillment vendor Leapstone Systems Inc. , while Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has acquired billing company LHS Group and SDP firm Drutt Corp. . (See Motorola Jumps on Leapstone, Ericsson Buys Billing Vendor LHS, and Ericsson Snaps Up SDP Firm.)

"Because network equipment vendors have a purely telco focus, they are unafraid to acquire the OSS and SDP product vendors they need to build a comprehensive service management platform," Chappell writes in the report.

Systems integrators, on the other hand, are mostly partnering to build comprehensive service management capabilities. That could result in an "expensively integrated" solution, the report finds.

Megadeals have had their SDP upside as well. Chappell says that Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Nokia Networks have emerged from their respective mergers with stronger service management and SDP capabilities. Alcatel-Lucent is creating an integrated service management strategy, she says.

The drive for a service management platform comes from operators that are under pressure to speed the time to market for new services. One way to speed service development is to decouple OSSs from individual services so that new services can be created with a common service management platform.

Common service management platforms could then manage any service. And that means OSS silos would be a thing of the past. (See Why OSS Silos Must Come Down.)

Companies profiled in the report include AmberPoint Inc. , Axiom Systems Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), JacobsRimell Ltd. , and Telcordia Technologies Inc.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading

The report, Service Management: The Key to SDP/OSS Integration, is available as part of an annual subscription (6 bimonthly issues) to Light Reading's Services Software Insider, priced at $1,295. Individual reports are available for $900. For more information, or to subscribe, please visit: www.lightreading.com/servsoftware.

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