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SPIT Watch: CA, NEC Bulk Up

Two of the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) sector's biggest vendors, CA Technologies (Nasdaq: CA) and NEC Electronics Corp. , have flexed their muscles in recent days, bulking up their assets to offer even more to their service provider and enterprise customers.

Meanwhile, cloud services mediation hopeful Verecloud Inc. is looking for a lifeline to go with its new name.

And there's other related news of interest to delve into as we move further into SPIT Week. (See Light Reading Launches SPIT Week and The SPIT Manifesto.)

  • CA has opened its wallet yet again to add to its cloud services capabilities. This time it has bought cloud computing technology specialist 3tera Inc. for an undisclosed amount. 3tera has developed technology that enables service providers and enterprises to build cloud computing resources and offer cloud services to customers and/or users. (See CA to Buy 3Tera.)

    CA clearly believes it can achieve its goals by buying, as well as building, its own capabilities to target the cloud services enablement market. In January it announced the acquisition of service-level management firm Oblicore Inc. , saying that the deal would extend its "capabilities in cloud vendor management and assurance of cloud service quality."

    Last year it splashed $200 million on experienced performance management platform vendor NetQoS -- producing an amusing wedding video to celebrate -- and snapped up data center automation specialist Cassatt Corp. (See CA, NetQoS Exchange Vows and CA Nabs NetQoS for $200M.)

    And, of course, it's also developing new capabilities in-house. (See CA Tackles Virtualization.)

    CA has been building up its capabilities in the communications service provider sector for a few years now, through the acquisitions of Wily Technology in 2006 and Concord Communications in 2005, but without making a particularly big deal about it. This is a company that probably has more muscle in the SPIT sector than many people might realize. (See CA Enhances Its OSS, CA Makes Wily Acquisition, and CA Targets Telcos With OSS.)

  • NEC, meanwhile, is building upon its 2008 acquisition of OSS firm NetCracker by consolidating all its telecom software and management systems assets under one roof. (See NEC Consolidates OSS Under NetCracker and NEC Shells Out $300M for NetCracker.)

    The move essentially expands NetCracker's portfolio of service assurance and fulfillment systems to include IT platforms (service delivery platforms, cloud services capabilities), customer and revenue management capabilities, and device management platforms. It also means NEC's NetCracker business will now be able to offer a vastly extended range of professional services.

    According to a statement issued by NEC, the move is a response to "increasing customer demand for an extended offering from NetCracker," which competes with the likes of Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), and Telcordia Technologies Inc. in the SPIT sector.

    We'll have more on this significant move in the next few days.

  • A new name on the SPIT scene is Verecloud Inc. , which says its NIMBUS Marketplace platform can help communications service providers build a cloud services offering by acting as the mediation platform between the operator and third-party hosted applications specialists. Verecloud believes it can particularly help operators tap into the potential of the small and medium-sized business market. (See Verecloud Pitches to CSPs.)

    The reason Verecloud is not a familiar name is because it's the new moniker for Network Cadence, which, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, has just lost its only significant customer, SkyTerra Communications (Nasdaq: SKYT). As a result, it's cut its headcount by 50 percent and expects its revenues, which amounted to less than $5 million in the six months to the end of 2009, to decrease by "approximately 95 percent."

    Verecloud, by its own admission, currently has enough cash to last until the end of April and needs a new cash injection of about $20 million, and quickly, otherwise the company is in danger of evaporating. It notes in the SEC filing: "If the Company is able to raise the required capital and execute on its business plan, it anticipates being cash flow positive in the first half of 2012."

    It's picked a hot market to tap into, though, so Verecloud has at least some chance of raising some backing.

  • Policy control specialist Bridgewater Systems Corp. (Toronto: BWC) has been busy. It announced a major European deal, saw founder Russ Freen quit as CTO, and reported its 2009 financials. (See Bridgewater Wins Major Euro Deal and Bridgewater Founder Quits CTO Role.)

    The Canadian firm, one of a number of policy specialists benefiting from mobile operator needs for greater data traffic management capabilities, saw its 2009 revenues increase by 51 percent to C$66.7 million, and its net income increase fourfold to C$11.2 million. (See Policy Matters to Mobile Broadband Operators.)

    Bridgewater expects its 2010 revenues to grow significantly again this year to between C$82 million and C$92 million. Good times!

    Other SPIT news of note includes:

    — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading


    Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Three OSS Imperatives: Customer, Cost & Cloud, a Light Reading Virtual Event for service providers that need to understand how to adapt and transform their operational support systems to put customers first, drive out cost, and support new cloud-based services. To take place on Tuesday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, access is free. For more information, or to register, click here.


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