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Sigma Systems Snaps Up Tribold

Service fulfillment vendor Sigma Systems has acquired British product management specialist Tribold for an undisclosed sum.

The move gives Sigma, which is known for its mediation, provisioning and activation tools that have been deployed at more than 50 communications service providers (CSPs), additional capabilities that will enhance its Cloud ServiceBroker product, launched in 2012. (See Sigma Systems Launches Cloud 'ServiceBroker'.)

Since it was founded in 2003, Tribold has been focused on the development of its product and service catalog platform, which manages the different building blocks CSPs need to build new services. (See Tribold SPIT Chosen by TeliaSonera and Tribold Anounces General Availability for New Enterprise Product Management Product Release.)

That building block capability fits neatly into Sigma's Cloud ServiceBroker product, which is designed for CSPs that want to offer a range of services, including aggregated cloud services, via a single integrated online portal.

Indeed, Sigma has already integrated Tribold's Enterprise Product Management (EPM) catalog product for Italian competitive operator Tiscali, an early Cloud ServiceBroker customer. (See Tiscali selects the Sigma Cloud ServiceBroker.)

As part of the agreement, Tribold's CEO and co-founder Simon Muderack becomes senior vice president of Market Development and Alliances at Sigma, while CTO and co-founder Catherine Michel becomes Sigma's chief strategy officer. In all, about 50 staff will join Sigma.

Tribold has about 20 customers in the CSP, media and high-tech sectors, a few of which are already Sigma customers.

Sigma, which has a revenue run rate of around $40 million and claims to have been profitable for the past 10 years, declined to share the price or provide details of the impact Tribold will have on its revenues and margins.

While a price was not disclosed, it's unlikely to match the investments Tribold has attracted during the past decade: The company has raised more than $26 million in five rounds of funding, the most recent being an unspecified amount from Intel in 2011. (See Tribold Banks Unspecified Sum and Intel Backs OSS Firm.)

Why this matters
In a Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) market where specialist vendors are being increasingly squeezed by the major players such as Amdocs Ltd., NetCracker Technology Corp. and Oracle Corp., which have increasingly broad product suites, consolidation can be the main route to survival for the smaller players.

This acquisition boosts the longevity of both Sigma and Tribold, which have done well to build a position for themselves in recent years and develop sustainable customer bases.

The deal gives Sigma the chance to more aggressively market the Cloud ServiceBroker, which looks to be its main potential growth engine, to customers in the telco and cable operator market, where Sigma has a solid reputation. (See Sigma Systems Signs Suddenlink.)

That particular product looks well suited to competitive carriers and cable operators as they look to extend their business service offerings, particularly to the small and medium-sized business user community, with a variety of cloud-based applications such as unified communications and CRM.

Now the real test comes for Sigma, as it needs to capitalize on the additional functionality it now has in-house to gain extra traction for its new product and avoid the operational and cultural pitfalls that come with acquisitions.

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

Ray Le Maistre 7/9/2013 | 1:53:51 PM
re: Sigma Systems Snaps Up Tribold Industry chat suggests Sigma would have picked up Tribold for very little and that the Tribold crew had been seeking a new home for a while -- and now they have one!! It must be said, too, that Tribold also brings what seems like a lot of industry goodwill with it, so that's credit to founders Catherine and Simon, who are joining Sigma.
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