Mobile services

Unisys Aims, Pulls AppTrigger

Unisys Corp. (NYSE: UIS) has teamed up with services migration specialist AppTrigger Inc. in a bid to win messaging system upgrade business from its Tier 1 carrier customer base. (See Unisys Teams With AppTrigger.)

The move is important for both companies, as it gives Unisys a chance to extend and prolong its relationship with its telecom customers and provides AppTrigger, formerly known as Carrius, a clear opportunity to land some high-profile accounts to add to its current deployment at Telefónica UK Ltd. (See AppTrigger (formerly Carrius).)

Unisys has its Communications Media Module (CMM) messaging systems installed in "virtually every Tier carrier in the world," including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), Orange (NYSE: FTE), Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT), and Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF), says Glenn James, president of Unisys's Global Communications and Media Industries business unit. The CMM provides messaging capabilities to more than 150 million carrier subscribers globally, he adds. (See Unisys Extends BT Deal.)

Now these carriers are looking at how to shift away from their legacy systems to next-generation, converged messaging platforms that will be part of their IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) implementations, a migration they want to achieve with the minimum of cost and disruption.

So Unisys has adapted AppTrigger's Application Session Controller (ASC), which acts as a gateway between legacy messaging systems and next-generation messaging systems, to ensure that it interoperates fully with the CMM. That combination will enable carriers to continue using their CMM systems and services, such as voicemail, in their new IMS networks without having to migrate any subscriber data or rewrite existing applications.

"This gives us a chance to expand and deepen our relationship with carriers. We are already strong in carrier network teams but not so strong with their IT, marketing, and financial teams, and the line between IT and networks is blurring. AppTrigger enables us to move into a client and offer a broader set of services and capabilities," says James.

This is largely because AppTrigger claims its technology can, not only act as a bridge between legacy systems and IMS environments, but also enable carriers to enhance existing services with new IP capabilities. "We're aiming to create mashups between old and new services," says AppTrigger CEO Chris Todd. "Other companies talk about mashups between various new services -- we're talking about mashups of old services and new services, and Unisys can help take this idea to market."

But it's the shift to IMS that Unisys is targeting primarily. "The big challenge the carriers have is that they're all looking to implement IMS capabilities, and they're all looking at how to manage that migration while getting the most from what they're spending," says James. "Architecture and messaging modernization is part of the Unisys strategy, and AppTrigger is right in the bullseye of that focus."

Unisys faces stiff competition in the next-gen messaging market, though, as the likes of Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI), Openwave Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), AudioCodes Ltd. (Nasdaq: AUDC), and Acision BV (the former messaging business of LogicaCMG) are all vying for IMS messaging system business. (See Comverse Intros Suite, LogicaCMG Becomes Acision, Ericsson Buys Openwave Rival, and AudioCodes: An NGN Makeover.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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