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NetCracker Flexes Its SPIT Muscle

With the weight of NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) behind it, Netcracker Technology Corp. has muscled in on the telecom software turf usually inhabited by some of its heavy-hitting Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) rivals and landed a significant transformation deal at Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT). (See DT Transforms With NetCracker.)

The German giant is sourcing a broad set of OSS systems, including provisioning and activation, discovery and reconciliation, service inventory management, and network element inventory management, for its Next Generation Service and Systems Management (NGSSM) transformation project.

NetCracker's products, and supporting services, will be used to automate the processes associated with the carrier's fixed broadband infrastructure and services, IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) network elements, and IMS-based multimedia services.

The vendor will also play a vital role in helping Deutsche Telekom migrate from its existing OSS systems to "an automated and efficient environment that will enable us to realize the goal of delivering a new level of innovation, interaction, and customer service," the carrier said in a prepared statement.

The deal is significant because such large engagements -- Deutsche Telekom has more than 17 million broadband lines -- are usually awarded to the likes of Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), or Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), or handed to a major equipment vendor to act as a project manager.

But NetCracker now has a major parent company in NEC that's not just backing its SPIT specialist, but entrusting it with all its software and next-generation service delivery assets, a move that will elevate NetCracker into the premier league of SPIT vendors and make it a regular contender for such large and important projects. (See SPIT Watch: CA, NEC Bulk Up, The SPIT Manifesto, and NEC Shells Out $300M for NetCracker.)

It would be an understatement to say that NetCracker CEO Andrew Feinberg is pumped up about this deal and his outfit's prospects -- he sounds like he is going to explode with excitement.

"This is a validation of what we've started" at NEC/NetCracker, says Feinberg. "This is a massive transformation. We're a key partner, providing the fulfillment and much of the service assurance [tools], and a full set of supporting services, including planning, consulting, and delivery, as well as having some operational input too."

It's not that NetCracker has been unable to compete with its previously larger rivals, or that it has never had a Tier 1 customer until now. The company has had plenty of success in Europe and North America, with customers such as Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Canada's Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T), and has picked up some worthy deals in the cable operator market. (See NetCracker Touts FT Deal, Telus Deploys NetCracker, Cablecom Deploys NetCracker, and UPC Picks NetCracker's OSS.)

What's different about the DT deal is the scope of the deal and its importance within a larger, critical process: NetCracker now has the resources to land almost any SPIT deal that's up for grabs. "NEC has 150,000 staff worldwide and we're going to be tapping into that" to deliver large projects and develop a managed services offering, says Feinberg.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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