SPIT Watch: M&A, Huawei & Nice News

With the TM Forum 's Management World 2010 event only days away, there has been plenty of activity in the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) sector. (See Sun, Sand, SPIT & Software and Identity Crisis Confronts Carriers.)

Clarity to merge as downturn bites
OSS firms Clarity International Pty Ltd. and Omnix Software Ltd. , both owned by Australian IT firm Powerlan, are merging. (See Clarity, Omnix to Merge.)

In its official announcement, Clarity, which has a number of carrier customers in Asia/Pacific such as PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk. (Telkom) , Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) , and Globe Telecom Inc. for its unified OSS platform (service assurance and fulfillment), stressed the synergies and opportunities for cross-selling. (See Clarity Extends Its OSS.)

Omnix has a number of mobile operator customers in Europe and Africa, including Vodafone Ireland and Telefónica Europe plc (O2) , for its project delivery and asset management software. It's currently developing a managed services offering, called OmnixLive, for developing markets. (See Omnix Upgrades Its OSS.)

Powerlan is hoping that the merger will help stabilize and build the group's telecom software financials. Combined, Clarity and Omnix generated revenues of A$8.4 million (US$7.45 million) in the six months to the end of 2009, down 39 percent from the same period a year earlier, and recorded an operating loss of A$4.77 million (US$4.23 million).

But Clarity is expected to deliver better sales results in the current six-month period, and Powerlan believes a combined Clarity/Omnix can generate annual revenues of A$50 million (US$44.3 million) within two years.

Part of that growth is expected to come from the utilities sector, which Clarity has identified as a new growth segment, especially as smart meter strategies are implemented and need to be managed. The company is also looking to strike new alliances to help increase its industry reach and has hired a new executive to lead that push. (See and Clarity Appoints VP of Utilities.)

Is it prime time for the product catalogue?
The key SPIT analysts from Heavy Reading have already identified what they expect to be hot in Nice (apart from the coffee and the croissants). (See Analyst: Data Analytics Needs Some TLC and Path to 4G Is Paved With OSS.)

But in addition to identifying data analytics and cloud management as two of the major topics she is expecting to hear a lot more about in Nice, Caroline Chappell believes the event could also herald the "coming of age" of product catalogues, the software tools that some vendors and carriers have for some time identified as critical to next-generation service creation strategies. (See Telcos Enter the Factory Age, ConceptWave Unveils R5, Amdocs Updates Service Catalog, GTEL Mobile Deploys Comverse, Tribold Breaks Up Its OSS, Amdocs Updates Service Catalog, Convergys Upgrades OSS, and Convergys Swallows OSS Specialist.)

Chappell believes the momentum behind catalogue-based product assembly is "picking up steam," and expects some of the major telecom vendors to be making announcements in this area. "Comptel Corp. (Nasdaq, Helsinki: CTL1V) has been banging the drum for a while now, but it has been looked at by others as too complex." However, that looks like it's about to change, believes the analyst. (See Comptel Snaps Up Axiom.)

Huawei preps billing blast
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is looking to make a splash at Management World with the launch of a next-generation billing and customer care platform that has been deployed by Dutch mobile operator Telfort B.V. , a subsidiary of KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN).

Huawei's name is hardly synonymous with billing and CRM, so it could be interesting to see what the show's attendees think of the Chinese vendor's pitch.

NSN girds its loins for Nice
Nokia Networks is probably best known as a mobile infrastructure vendor, but it's also one of the industry's leading SPIT players, and regards Management World as "one of this year’s most important events." (See SPIT Week Spotlight: Nokia Siemens Networks.)

In advance of the show, the vendor has announced a new subscriber data management tool called [email protected], which enables mobile operators to analyze customer service usage patterns and plan their marketing offers accordingly, and noted that its "OSS/BSS architecture and its business analysis application suite" has received SID (shared information/data) framework certification from the TM Forum. (See NSN Unveils New CRM Tool ESP and NSN Tackles OSS Silos.)

Other news from the SPIT world includes:

For all the SPIT news leading up to the event -- plus reports from the show floor, updates from the conference halls, and gossip from the weirdest bars in Nice -- keep an eye on our special Management World 2010 Show Site.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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