M&A Reshapes OSS Sector

The OSS (operations support systems) sector has undergone a dramatic upheaval during the past year that has seen some of the sector's major players change hands.

And the M&A frenzy may not be over, as Telcordia Technologies Inc. continues to be linked with potential acquisition activity, and even appears to be preparing itself for divestment. (See Is Telcordia Preparing for a Sale? )

The upsurge in major acquisitions is one of the trends identified in the latest Light Reading report, Who Makes What: OSS .

The report aims to identify the OSS firms currently active in the market, and positions them in 15 separate categories. Industry executives are encouraged to suggest additions and changes to the report's initial lists and categories to help make them as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

In this new report, some of the sector's most familiar names, such as MetaSolv Software Inc. (Nasdaq: MSLV) and Cramer Systems Ltd. , no longer have their own entries as a result of the M&A action.

Here's a rundown of the biggest, but by no means the only, OSS acquisition deals of the past 12 months:

As these deals show, some of the world's biggest IT firms are snapping up OSS firms to give themselves a better position in the telecom space as they chase major software, services, and integration deals from the world's largest carriers, which are investing in new back office systems and software-based service delivery platforms (SDPs) as part of their shift towards next generation network (NGN) platforms.

Oracle, for example, has not only invested in fulfillment systems all-rounder MetaSolv and IP billing specialist Portal Software in the past year, but has also acquired SIP applications developer Hotsip AB , applications development platform firm Net4Call , and hosted contact center software maker [email protected] Inc. . (See Oracle Acquires [email protected] and Oracle Buying Into Service Delivery .)

Now Telcordia looks like it might change hands again in 2007 as the sector continues to realign, with Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), Oracle, and Telcordia (whoever owns it) shaping up to be the sector's big hitters in 2007, though companies such as Aricent Inc. , Tech Mahindra Ltd. , and Wipro Ltd. , with their focus on integration, bespoke development and support services, are also major players in the telecom software market. (See Aricent Crashes Telecom Software Party, BT Picks Tech Mahindra, Tech Mahindra Soars on Debut, Wipro Boosts Profits, Moto Makes New Friends, and Who Does What: Outsourcing to India.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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