Sigma Systems Signs Suddenlink

Cashing in on cable’s commercial services drive, Sigma Systems has signed up Suddenlink Communications as the latest large MSO customer for the vendor's business voice and data provisioning system.

The two companies jointly announced Monday that Suddenlink has deployed an upgraded version of the Sigma Systems Fulfillment Solution, which enables cable operators to automate the activation of their voice and data services. The companies said the fulfillment product has enabled Suddenlink to "achieve full integration" of its business voice, SIP trunking and data services, "from billing to order entry to delivery."

Suddenlink thus joins such other large North American MSOs as Rogers Communications and CableOne as Sigma business services customers. Sigma also boasts four other North American and Western European cable operators and telcos as commercial clients but hasn’t disclosed their identities yet.

Rick Mallon, VP of marketing and product management for Sigma, said the Suddenlink deployment stands out from the others because it's the first one focused on both larger enterprises and small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs). In the previous six cases, the OSS deployments focused on just the SMB market.

Mallon said Suddenlink needed enterprise help because it has been signing up an average of one large company a week as it aggressively expands its business services operation under the unit's new president, Kevin Stephens. Each new big commercial customer, he noted, brings in 1,000 to 2,000 employee phone lines with it.

"It's easy to say you're going to cover large businesses, but it's very hard to do,” Mallon said. He noted that the technical interfaces for larger firms are more complex, the companies require multi-site support and their transactions are much more complicated to support, among other things.

With the market for cable and telco residential-oriented OSS systems now "getting pretty saturated," at least in its traditional North American and European regions, Sigma Systems is looking to diversify more into commercial-oriented provisioning work. Currently, the firm, which recently snagged Cable Bahamas for its residential voice provisioning system, relies on the residential market for 80 percent to 90 percent of its revenues.

Mallon said Sigma now has 10 cable operators and telcos around the world as strong prospects for OSS contracts, with eight of them looking for commercial help. He expects to sign up two or three of them by the end of the year.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

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