September 14, 2016
Amdocs has splashed $260 million on the acquisition of three business and customer support systems specialists that it hopes will bolster its cloud-based portfolio and further its digital transformation ambitions.
The three are:
Redwood City, Calif.-based Vindicia, which has developed a cloud-based system that helps companies "onboard" customers via online portals and process payments for digital content and services (such as on-demand video). Its users include the BBC, Mediaset, Turner Broadcasting and Telstra. Vindicia had raised about $38 million from investors such as BDMI (a subsidiary of media giant Bertelsmann), DCM, FTV Capital and Onset Ventures.
Dublin-based Brite:Bill , which has taken the boring old bill and turned it into a piece of multi-platform digital marketing that can be tailored to a customer's needs as well as used as a sales tool by service providers. The company has a number of telco, mobile and cable operators as customers, including Vodafone Ireland, Sprint, Tele2 and Rogers Communications. The company had raised about $4 million from a small group of investors -- Enterprise Ireland, the Ulster Bank Diageo Venture Fund and NCB Ventures.
Tel Aviv-based Pontis has developed a customer engagement system that allows service providers to more easily and accurately identify the best customer engagement actions to take with each individual customer and offer relevant and personalized advice and offers. The company claims a number of unnamed Tier 1 service providers as customers. The company has raised about $35 million from the likes of Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners, Evergreen Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.
Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) says it paid roughly the same amount for each of the three companies -- so around $85 million per acquisition.
The move comes as communications and media service providers are looking for ways to move their operations and support systems into the cloud as part of the "digital transformation" process that all major enterprises are undertaking globally. For Amdocs, which is already a leading provider of billing, charging and customer relationship systems to all types of service providers, these acquisitions look like they strengthen its digital and cloud-based system proposition.
"Amdocs is adding to the ways in which it can help service providers deliver new digital services with a better customer experience," notes Heavy Reading Senior Analyst of CEM and Analytics Sandra O'Boyle. "Brite:Bill improves how bills are presented to customers, Vindicia enables real-time billing and Pontis is about real-time contextual marketing driven by analytics -- knowing the best offer to present to the customer next. To be successful, service providers have to improve the 'full customer experience or journey' from buying the service, turning on the service, managing service quality, to billing and after care support, and do everything in a more real-time personalized way," notes the analyst.
"These are strategic acquisitions, not just in filling gaps, but they also make Amdocs more of a one-stop shop, and so more likely to keep smaller vendors out of the equation and put pressure on other large vendors that don't have the full suite in-house," adds O'Boyle.
No doubt these deals will be closely scrutinized by other major BSS players such as AsiaInfo, CSG International, Ericsson, NetCracker, Oracle and Redknee.
For now, these new additions to the family will not make a massive difference to Amdocs' annual sales numbers, which are in the region of $3.8 billion per year. For its fiscal year 2017, which begins in October 2016, Amdocs expects the three acquisitions to contribute about 1.5% to 2% of total revenues. Amdocs hasn't given its revenue projections for that fiscal year yet, but based on its current run rate it looks like Amdocs will be expecting a boost of between $55 million and $75 million to its top line from the trio.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading
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