Three years after introducing the category, the number of submissions for the Leading Lights Outstanding OSS/BSS Vendor category continues to grow and the quality and range of the entries gets better and better.
As a result, we have a burgeoning list of finalists, which includes established, experienced suppliers of telecom software as well as the specialist competitors nipping at their heels.
The winner will be announced at the Leading Lights Awards dinner on Monday, May 23, at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas. The following day, the Big Communications Event 2016 opens its doors for two days of networking, learning and fun.
To find out which companies were shortlisted in all 26 Leading Lights categories, see Leading Lights 2016: The Finalists.
In the meantime, here are details of the 10 shortlisted entries in the Outstanding OSS/BSS Vendor category.
Amdocs is a juggernaut in the telecom operator back office market. Already one of the largest players in this sector, it further boosted its reach, portfolio and customer base with the acquisition of the majority of Comverse's BSS assets. It also launched its new cloud-enabled portfolio system CES 10, which was developed to aid operators with their digital transformation efforts as well as improve agility and business insight.
Importantly, Amdocs has developed its strategy to support the management needs of operators that are introducing NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and virtual network functions (VNFs) into a hybrid networking environment.
- Vodafone Live NFV Use Cases Powered by Amdocs
- Amdocs Reports Fiscal Q1
- Will Google Start a Euro Gigabit Gold Rush?
Finnish vendor Comptel is on something of a roll, having achieved all-time high revenues in 2015 of nearly €100 million, launched a new brand, landed new business in Europe and Asia, changed its organizational structure and implemented a new corporate strategy.
That strategy is built in part around Comptel's efforts to help service providers innovate through its Operation Nexterday initiative, which is based around the vendor's software and services that support service fulfillment, business agility and enable a "Digital Buying Experience."
Huawei has poured substantial resources behind its OSS and BSS efforts in the past year and has positioned its OSS product set as part of its professional services organization. Its efforts have resulted in significant traction with major operators including Telefonica and MTN Group and it is deeply involved in multiple digital operations transformation projects that include the deployment and development of its OSS and BSS systems.
- Huawei Adds Chinese Five Spice to Digital Recipe
- Vodafone, Huawei Tackle Customer Experience
- Tales of Telco Transformation
ItsOn's main pitch to CSPs is that its cloud-based systems, developed to enable digital services and improve customer experience, can offer functionality and agility that traditional 'IT infrastructure-based systems' cannot deliver.
The privately-held company is getting under the skin of some rivals and gaining traction with the regional operations of some of the world's largest service providers, including Sprint, Telefonica and MTN. That's no mean feat for a competitive vendor taking on some of the biggest names in the industry.
NetCracker is one of a number of established telecom software suppliers that has developed cloud-based versions of its core systems: Its NetCracker 10 does more, though, as it was developed to support network operators as they introduce virtual network functions (VNFs), engage with IoT/M2M players and provide the kind of real-time analytics capabilities that service providers need to effectively manage their modern operations.
The company, part of the NEC empire, continued to expand its customer portfolio during the past year, adding numerous major names to its client list and establish itself as a valuable partner to operations implementing transformation strategies.
- NTT DoCoMo Uses NEC, NetCracker for NFV
- Bright House Deploys NetCracker CRM Solution
- Suddenlink Deploys NetCracker CRM Solution
- NetCracker Pitches NFV Migration Story
Ontology has reached the stage in its lifecycle when it needs to blossom and become more than a startup with great potential and the company appears to be managing to achieve that. It has recorded significant levels of revenue growth in the past year and expects further business to boost its books in 2016 following some notable breakthroughs for its semantic modelling engine that provides a more accurate view of network resources and services than traditional OSS tools.
Ontology achieved significant success at Telekom Malaysia during the past year, where its technology has been deployed to help the operator manage its optical and access networks and introduce improved business practices.
Openet is another European challenger that has experienced significant growth during the past year, while at the same time introducing innovative new approaches to the market related to virtualization and digital transformation.
The company's new deals and customer upgrades for its charging and policy systems are, it says, a "reflection of the investment the company has made in virtualization, new charging and policy use cases and new solutions such as network selection intelligence and real-time offer manager."
The company is not without its long-time Tier 1 customers, though, as it boasts the likes of AT&T, Sprint and Time Warner Cable amongst its major customers.
Redknee has spent the past year further consolidating its position as a supplier of innovative BSS systems to the CSP sector, having built on its existing position with the acquisition of Germany's Orga Systems, a move that expanded its customer base to more than 250 and gave it established product catalog and order management capabilities.
It has also continued to expand into adjacent vertical sectors such as utilities, transport and smart cities.
Sigma Systems Canada
Sigma Systems is another company that has gained from a well executed strategic acquisition, as the company has seen its business grow significantly as a result of the integration of Tribold, which it bought in 2013.
The resulting success, which has impacted the company's top and bottom lines in the past year, attracted the attention of Birch Hill Equity Partners, which became Sigma's majority owner in May 2015. That investment not only provides Sigma with a solid financial base but also gives it the ability to make further strategic acquisitions.
UXP's USP (unique selling point, just in case…) is its focus on the digital user lifecycle management challenge facing CSPs, something he company believes traditional BSS vendors have failed to successfully tackle.
Its MINT platform, which sits above other BSS systems to manage customer relationships and enable "frictionless" consumer engagement with a telco's customer-facing systems, is gaining traction with operators needing to improve customer engagement and satisfaction ratings. It counts CenturyLink, Rogers Communications and Cable & Wireless Communications among its customers.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading