October 25, 2013
In the service provider IT (SPIT) space, location analytics and intelligence companies seem to be flavor of the month, at least in terms of M&A action.
We see established BSS/OSS vendors showing tremendous interest in location-based intelligence and analytics companies. We have witnessed three significant acquisitions in this space in a matter of months: Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) acquiring Actix, JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU) acquiring Arieso and InfoVista SA acquiring Aexio. (See InfoVista Acquires Aexio for Network Optimization, Amdocs Dives Into Mobile SPIT Pool and JDSU Buys Mobile OSS Vendor for $85M.)
Why are locational analytics companies so important, especially in the wireless space?
In our opinion, the competitive differentiation of mobile network operators will depend on several important dimensions -- subscriber experience management, network resource management, and proactive service assurance. Successful mobile network operators need to be operationally agile and able to deliver an optimum customer experience. Capturing detailed voice and data session-level information, combined with geo-location and subscriber-related information, can provide operators' detailed, actionable insight and visibility.
Location-centric service and subscriber data capture and monitoring provides the fundamental visibility that helps isolate and repair customer issues, optimize resources and alleviate congestion management issues. Location intelligence and analytics helps service providers to differentiate the customer experience and achieve cost efficiencies with improved automation and optimization of their existing networks, and when rolling out new network technologies, such as LTE and small cells. This will help isolate and repair customer issues, optimize resources and alleviate congestion management issues.
In the context of service assurance, an understanding of geo-location and the ability to correlate location information with mobile measurement data and KPI statistics can be the difference between proactively solving service issues before the subscriber's service experience is affected and waiting to receive an irate subscriber's complaint, which can result in customer churn. This is particularly important when it comes to highly valuable corporate customers. This approach of proactively solving customer issues instead of waiting for dissatisfied subscribers to complain can go a long way toward minimizing customer churn.
For Amdocs it is a strategic way to extend their B/OSS offering to intelligence-driven planning and capacity management. The acquisition will help Amdocs to bolster its focus on customer experience by balancing network optimization needs based on a holistic view of the subscriber's experience across all networks, BSS and OSS. Geo-located network information provided by Actix, combined with customer data and capabilities from Amdocs' policy management and charging system will allow service providers to support innovative use cases and take proactive action based on network performance to modify and improve the experience of a specific customer or group of customers.
In my opinion, InfoVista's acquisition of Aexio is a step in the right direction. With this acquisition InfoVista has successfully managed to close the loop between assurance, planning, and optimization. InfoVista has successfully demonstrated a focused strategy which ties together critical dimensions of network optimization and planning with network intelligence and network and service data. This acquisition will not only improve InfoVista technology relevance and offer new product upsell opportunities but will also increase the company's regional coverage, especially in Asia/Pacific.
— Ari Banerjee, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
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