Ericsson to Acquire APAC Integrator

Ericsson AB is further bolstering its Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) capabilities with a deal to acquire Thailand-based systems integrator TeleOSS Consulting Ltd. for an undisclosed sum.

TeleOSS deploys OSS systems at communications service providers (CSPs) in Thailand and Malaysia. Its customers include Advanced Info Service plc (AIS), CAT Telecom Public Co. Ltd., Telekom Malaysia Berhad, True Corp. plc and TOT Public Co. Ltd.

Its OSS vendor partners currently include IBM Corp. (for its Netcool Performance Manager), Objective Systems Integrators Inc. (OSI) (for its NetExpert service assurance system), S2Net (for its inventory management system) and VSS Monitoring Inc. (for network probes), among others.

Ericsson says it will continue to offer third-party solutions through TeleOSS once the acquisition is complete. "Multi-vendor capabilities is part of the Ericsson global CSI [consulting and systems integration] strategy and a substantial part of current competencies on global and regional levels. We have no intentions to change the multi-vendor strategy," the vendor noted in an email response to questions.

Ericsson did not share any financial details concerning the proposed deal, which is expected to close before the end of September. It also declined to comment on TeleOSS's revenues, but claims the Asian firm is profitable. About 50 staff will join Ericsson upon completion.

The vendor giant, which has acquired a number of systems integrators as well as OSS vendors Telcordia and Conceptwave during the past few years to add to its telecom software-related professional services capabilities, is keen to position itself as a global leader in the telco back office. Ericsson says this latest acquisition will "strengthen its systems integration capabilities for OSS in South East Asia and Oceania." (See Ericsson Buys More OSS Smarts, Say Goodbye to Telcordia, Ericsson Buys Mobile SPIT Specialist and Ericsson Buys North American Integrator.)

Why this matters
For the major telecom vendors, having a killer network infrastructure portfolio is no longer enough for long-term survival -- they also need significant professional services capabilities and a broad SPIT offering (OSS, BSS, service brokers, cloud service platforms, policy management and enforcement and so on). (See The SPIT Manifesto 2.0.)

And as CSPs adapt to a world that will be dominated by 4G, cloud services, OTT applications and a more virtualized networking world, so they'll need to introduce new back office operations and business support systems. That's a transformation process that's going to come with a lot of pain and generate a lot of lucrative business for the large, integrated suppliers that have the relevant networks, IT and services portfolio.

Ericsson identified this some years ago and has been building its SPIT systems and related professional services portfolio with a number of strategic acquisitions across all major territories. It wants to be the number one SPIT company, even if it wouldn't likely use that exact terminology… (See Euronews: Ericsson Boasts IT Services Progress and Ericsson recognized as the worldwide leader in telecom operations management.)

TeleOSS might be a small, regional addition to the Ericsson machine but it's another important sign that the Swedish vendor knows where the future action is going to be.

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— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Ray Le Maistre 7/17/2013 | 8:46:23 AM
re: Ericsson to Acquire APAC Integrator I think it's going to be one of THE differentiators for the major vendors, so those that have the global operations centers and the years of experience of running multiple networks have a clear advantage. They have to get used to the lower margins that services deliver compared with some of the margins they are used to with traditional network systems, though...
Carol Wilson 7/12/2013 | 1:58:50 PM
re: Ericsson to Acquire APAC Integrator Interesting to see that even as vendors and service providers talk about moving to more standards-based OSSs and processes, there is still great need for systems integration and professional services - that's likely to remain a differentiator for some time to come.
Ray Le Maistre 7/12/2013 | 11:24:14 AM
re: Ericsson to Acquire APAC Integrator Hard to argue against this strategy of picking up local SIs to bolster the services and OSS business -- the opportunities should be good in south-east Asia for service provider IT transformation projects. I imagine Ericsson will face Huawei and Amdocs and a few others for those deals.
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