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2009 Top Ten: OSS/IT Stories

Ray Le Maistre
12/29/2009

Telecom software and IT systems are becoming more and more important to carrier strategies as the world's operators try to figure out how to adapt to the world of hosted applications and video-heavy traffic loads while also saving money -- a very neat trick if you can pull it off.

So here's a look at our most popular news analysis stories of the year (in reverse order) that focused on the worlds of OSS, policy control, service creation, and telco IT.

10. Chinese Firms Create OSS Giant
December 2009: First it was Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) stepping on the toes of the West's vendor community. Now it could be AsiaInfo Inc. (Nasdaq: ASIA)'s turn.

9. Intel Backs OSS Firm
January 2009: Intel Capital was among the investors pumping $11 million into product management specialist Tribold , one of the OSS world's hottest properties. Unfortunately, such news was a rarity, as funding for telecom software firms has been in short supply in recent years, as one industry veteran pointed out...

8. Nakina CEO Sees OSS Innovation Gap
May 2009: Nakina Systems Inc. CEO Jay Borden sees trouble down the line as startup funding dries up for telecom software startups, a trend that will lead to an "operations gap" at carriers. And fewer opportunities for Borden to set up a new firm in his garage, of course.

7. OSS News: Tektronix Strikes Again!
April 2009: Tektronix Inc. opened its wallet to snap up Arantech , whose products help to "manage the customer experience gap." What's with all these gaps all of a sudden?

6. AlcaLu Shows Off Its Apps Abs
December 2009: Providing traditional telecom operators with the smarts to become applications creation specialists is set to be one of the key vendor battlegrounds in the coming years, and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) appears to have built up quite an arsenal already with its Application Exposure Suite and Open API Service, which Light Reading unveiled in a November scoop. (See AlcaLu Turns Apps Broker.)

The big question now is -- what will AlcaLu's main rivals do in response?

5. Nokia Siemens Bags OSS Smarts
May 2009: Nokia Networks prides itself on its OSS and BSS capabilities, but, like all the other big guns, knows it can't do everything by itself. (See NSN Claims Optimization Crown.) So it took a "smart" decision this year to team up with EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), which has some seasoned root cause analysis tools up its sleeve.

4. Telcordia: Still a $700M+ Player
October 2009: Telcordia Technologies Inc. emerged from its self-imposed financial reporting hiding place to remind everyone that it's still one of the biggest players in town -- and that it has its fingers in some high-growth pies too!

3. Ericsson Offloads OSS Unit
March 2009: OSS assets aren't strategic to everyone, though, even when they're relevant to the current mobile data growth explosion. Ascom leapt at the chance to add Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s mobile network optimization tools to its armory, though it did set the Swiss firm back $168 million.

2. AlcaLu, HP Combine on IT
June 2009: AlcaLu is never far away from a significant back-office maneuver: It announced a major tie-up with HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) that is set to cover all manner of carrier and enterprise IT needs. The duo claimed the alliance will generate billions of euros in revenues during its initial 10-year lifetime, but it's unlikely anyone will ever break out those details from a balance sheet.

1. Verizon Saves Millions With OSS Strategy
May 2009: Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) showed how deploying the right OSS tool for the right job can make the CFO and operations teams happy at the same time. Now, if Verizon could only replicate that success across its entire back office, it would really be on to something...

And here are a few more telecom software/IT stories that pulled in some significant page impressions:

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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