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NFV MANO

10 SPIT Vendors to Watch in 2015

Since we first launched our SPIT (Service Provider IT) Manifesto in February 2010, Light Reading has been banging on endlessly about the increasing importance of "the evolving set of non-traditional telecom (and data networking) technologies that allow for a greater degree of flexibility in the creation, management, delivery and monetization of next-generation communications services." (See The SPIT Manifesto 2.0 and The SPIT Manifesto.)

And guess what? We were right, even if some in the industry didn't think we'd got our terminology quite right. Like it or not, though, there's no denying that SPIT is 'IT.'

SDN and NFV are a direct result of the SPIT trend -- the emergence of more IT-centric capabilities into the wide area networking market. In turn, the growing importance of virtualization has placed even greater importance on the OSS and BSS systems that underpin and help monetize communications networks: MANO (management and orchestration for virtualized network functions) will be one of the hottest acronyms in 2015 and what is that if not next-generation OSS?

In addition, analytics is arguably one of the hottest areas of development for the communications sector right now and that's a SPIT capability through and through. (See Analytics in a World of SDN, NFV & IoT.)

So that prompted us to have a quick think about which SPIT companies either will, or really need to, make the headlines in 2015. So here, in alphabetical order, is our Top 10 SPIT Companies to Watch in 2015.

1. Amdocs
Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), with annual revenues of $3.6 billion, has a reach and scale that influences the rest of the SPIT sector, and it has used its scale in recent years to expand its capabilities, become a mover and shaker in NFV circles and develop much-needed analytics capabilities, as CEO Eli Gelman told Light Reading in an exclusive and rare video interview shot recently in New York City. Expect Amdocs to make an even bigger push into virtualization and Big Data analytics next year, both organically and through acquisitions.

2. AsiaInfo
In the past we've noted that AsiaInfo Inc. (Nasdaq: ASIA) could be the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. of the SPIT world -- a company built in China that expands and disrupts on an international scale. AsiaInfo started that disruption in late 2013 when it muscled its way into the Danish operations of Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN). That was a good start, but what next? If AsiaInfo wants to really mix it with the likes of Amdocs and Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) it needs to make an even bigger and more impressive splash in 2015.

3. Comverse
It's quite simple -- Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI) needs a big 2015. CEO Philippe Tartavull has had this company in turnaround mode for about two years, but the company has shrunk significantly during that time. It is still a SPIT heavy hitter, with revenues expected to come in at about $450 to $470 million for the full fiscal year that ends January 31, 2015, but that's a far cry from the near $653 million the vendor achieved in the previous year from the sale of its BSS and service creation platforms. Comverse recently invested in some WebRTC smarts through the acquisition of Solaiemes in August, but it needs to do a lot more in the coming year to get back into growth mode.

4. Ericsson
This list is mostly about the SPIT specialists rather than the giant telecom vendors with broad portfolios, but we need to mention Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) because it has spent the past few years buying a bunch of SPIT specialists such as Telcordia and ConceptWave to build up its management system capabilities. Now it has a slightly new focus -- expanding its SPIT capabilities to support a broader range of customers as it expands outside of telecom and into other verticals. That trend started with the acquisition of MetraTech earlier this year, and we expect to see follow-on M&A and partnership action in 2015 to support this strategic move.

Next page: From Matrixx Software to UBIqube Solutions

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Liz Greenberg 2/2/2015 | 1:12:54 PM
Re: WebRTC So true so true...munch munch, good apple!
Kruz 1/25/2015 | 2:50:07 PM
Re: WebRTC It will while it can. Look at what is happening with Apple Pay currently. Mobile payment is picking up at a high rate as Apple entered the market.
Liz Greenberg 1/13/2015 | 8:07:32 PM
Re: WebRTC Isn't kind of silly that Apple can basically hold this up when everybody else - including Google, MSFT, Mozilla, etc. support it?  I think the elephant in the room has become the apple in the browser...
Kruz 12/31/2014 | 2:51:21 AM
Re: WebRTC WebRTC is definitely promising and I beleive we will start seeing more vendors investing in WebRTC once the Technology is backed by Apple.
@voxbone 12/30/2014 | 2:27:51 PM
WebRTC I'm surprised no WebRTC vendors make the cut, what is your opinion on the sector and its place in your SPIT ecosystem? 
[email protected] 12/29/2014 | 9:42:57 AM
Who else should be here? This is my 10 to watch out for but.... which service provider IT firms do YOU think will make a splash in the coming year?
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