Arris Absorbs Auspice Assets

Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) has acquired the assets of Waltham, Mass.-based Auspice Corp. , a move that expands Arris's portfolio of service assurance products and gives the vendor more business with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK).

Arris closed the asset purchase in mid-August, and has already begun integrating Auspice's flagship OpsLogic assurance suite into its own support software, according to Bailey Shewchuk, vice president and general manager of Arris's Assurance Solutions Group.

In addition to Auspice's customer contracts and technology, Arris also picked up 28 engineers, including the bulk of the assurance specialist's development staff.

Because the deal is considered non-material, Arris has not formally announced it or released the financial terms of the purchase.

"We have notified customers and are now meeting with customers [to explain] the expanded portfolio of assurance products we have now," Shewchuk says.

Comcast, already a large Arris customer, was Auspice's marquee customer. (See Comcast Picks Auspice.) Before Arris took over, Auspice also had deployments with Bresnan Communications LLC and Cablevision of Mexico.

The service assurance products of both companies are designed to monitor broadband networks down to the consumer premises device (such as a cable modem, set-top, or embedded multimedia adapter), and manage the quality of services. While Auspice focused primarily on data monitoring, Arris's ServAssure monitors voice, video, and data services, Shewchuk says.

Arris's integration plan cuts both ways, as there is significant overlap in the respective product lines. Arris will add some functions of Auspice's OpsLogic to its own ServAssure platform, and will add components of ServAssure to OpsLogic, depending on the deployment in question.

For example, an OpsLogic powering supply monitoring feature will be integrated into ServAssure, as will Auspice's "executive dashboard," a reporting tool that provides a graphical representation of system/network health.

Shewchuk says Arris expects to complete the majority of the Auspice integration work by early 2009.

Arris, which is maintaining Auspice's Waltham operations, believes the deal and subsequent product integration will help it to become the dominant provider of MSO service assurance products. Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is one of the major MSOs already using Arris's ServAssure system.

Arris faces plenty of competition, though, especially in terms of video monitoring, where the likes of IneoQuest Technologies Inc. , Symmetricom Inc. (Nasdaq: SYMM), and Mixed Signals Inc. are active. (See Mixed Signals Checks SDV's Heartbeat , IneoQuest Probes SDV , and Symmetricom Expands Cable Play.) Shewchuck claims Arris has an edge over its assurance rivals, though, as it publishes a set of "open" APIs that enable it to integrate ServAssure with competitive products and create a more comprehensive platform.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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