MetaSolv Scores at BellSouth

OSS firm scores significant IP service activation deal at BellSouth

October 12, 2005

4 Min Read
MetaSolv Scores at BellSouth

OSS supplier {dirlink 2|52} (Nasdaq: MSLV) has landed a ground-breaking deal at RBOC {dirlink 5|16} (NYSE: BLS) for a multiservice IP activation system. (See MetaSolv Wins ILEC Deal.)Although MetaSolv isn't naming BellSouth as its customer -- it refers only to a "U.S. ILEC" -- Light Reading has learned that BellSouth is the carrier in question. The carrier is to use MetaSolv's system initially to activate MPLS-based IP VPNs, and will use it to deliver VOIP and other IP services in the future.

News of the deal comes as BellSouth hooks up with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: FON) to offer long-distance MPLS-based IP services. The RBOC is also expected to announce its VOIP service system partner(s) in the coming months. (See BellSouth, Sprint Team on MPLS and BellSouth: The IMS SuperBowl? )

MetaSolv's VP of marketing, David Sharpley, says the framework deal -- an open ended contract with no specific financial or deployment parameters -- should be worth millions of dollars over the next few years and that MetaSolv will start to record revenue from the engagement before the end of this year.

He adds that the deal was "hotly contested," though declines to identify other firms that were shortlisted. He noted, though, that Syndesis Ltd. and Telcordia Technologies Inc., and Dorado Software Inc. for IP VPN-specific deployments, were the most common rivals. (See Who Makes What: OSS Update.)

Certainly in this case, Telcordia will have been one of the incumbent activation system suppliers, and sector analyst Larry Goldman of OSS Observer believes the ILEC's choice of supplier is significant.

"This is a very good boost for MetaSolv to win a U.S. ILEC, but clearly a problem for Telcordia. However, this carrier has been moving away from Telcordia for some time." He adds that, in the past, the operator has developed an in-house IP activation system "with help from Telcordia, TTI Telecom, Agilent Technologies, and various equipment vendors. In this case, it has focused on one activation platform that can handle the range of activation needs."

As for Telcordia, the analyst adds: "I think Telcordia could still provide such a solution, but for whatever reason it has let the likes of MetaSolv, Syndesis, Comptel, Axiom Systems, Intec Telecom and others get the upper hand on new activation business."

In line with its standing policy of not talking to Light Reading, Telcordia declined to respond to any questions.

MetaSolv has a positive reputation among carrier executives with a knowledge of the service activation sector. In Heavy Reading's OSS market perception survey conducted earlier this year, the vendor came out tops in the service activation category with a recognition rating of 47 percent, ahead of {dirlink 2|94} (NYSE: LU) and Telcordia. (See MetaSolv Tops OSS Survey Category.)

The Heavy Reading report based on the survey noted that carrier executives who recognize MetaSolv as an OSS player "generally think highly of it. This is especially the case in the service activation sector, where more than half of all survey respondents who recognized MetaSolv as a supplier named it as a leader in product performance and quality/reliability. Buyers in the service provisioning sector were slightly less impressed by MetaSolv's product." (See Report: OSS Minnows Have Muscle.)

The vendor has undergone a revival of late, having been forced into a significant cost-cutting program as its business suffered during the industry downturn. Now it is picking up new deals and has signed up Lucent as a channel partner. (See MetaSolv Turns a Corner, MetaSolv Wins Big China Deal, XO Migrates to MetaSolv System, Lucent Resells MetaSolv OSS, MetaSolv Claims IPTV OSS Success, and MetaSolv Ties With Tata, Wins at Oni.)

MetaSolv's share price is trading down slightly, by 2 cents, at $3.25 today.

Also today, Syndesis announced a massive OSS deal, which it values at $40 million, with another unnamed U.S. Tier 1 carrier. (See Syndesis Wins Record Deal .)

Earlier this year, the company declined to comment on suggestions that it had signed a $40 million deal with {dirlink 5|205} (NYSE: VZ). That speculation emerged as Syndesis unveiled an OSS deal with {dirlink 5|182} (NYSE: TI) believed to be worth more than $20 million. (See Syndesis Lands Monster OSS Deal.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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