Policy + charging

Procera Courts More Policy Partners

The deep packet inspection (DPI) specialist Procera Networks added another partner to its growing roster Monday. It has teamed up with Avvasi to blend quality of experience (QoE) management with network analytics.

Procera Networks and Avvasi Inc. are introducing a joint platform that has Avvasi integrating its Q-VUE QoE measurement platform with Procera's PacketLogic intelligent policy enforcement system, so operators can determine the QoE of video on their networks in real-time. The companies say they'll measure key performance indicators on the device, service, network, and location of mobile video. Data operators can use this information to build new quality-assured services. (See: Procera Beefs Up Network Analytics and Video Quality Isn't Hot Air for Wind Mobile.)

The Avvasi partnership was announced soon after Procera teamed up with Opera Software ASA 's Skyfire on data optimization and both Openet Telecom Ltd. and Comptel Corp. (Nasdaq, Helsinki: CTL1V) for policy management. (See: Procera, Skyfire Team for Network Optimization, Openet, Procera Team on Policy, and Comptel Teams With Procera.)

A spokesman for Procera told us its strategy is to build up its network offerings through partnerships like these, rather than through M&A like its DPI competitor Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), which bought up Ortiva and Oversi last year. The M&A approach "puts Allot at odds with what could be potentially large partnerships/deals with companies like Skyfire and Avvasi, and could be playing a role in Allot’s lack of growth." (See: Allot Reports Q2 Loss of $3.9M, Allot Snaps Up Ortiva Wireless, and Allot Buys Content Caching Specialist.)

Interestingly, however, Procera raised $88 million in April 2012 with the explicit plan to acquire strategic companies. It's a small company up against the major equipment vendors that do it all in the policy space, so continued growth -- whether through acquisitions or partners -- is important. (See: Procera Virtualizes Policy Management, Procera Tallies More Orders, Procera Builds M&A War Chest, and Policy Specialists Squeezed by Vendor Giants.)

However, as Heavy Reading SPIT analyst Ari Banerjee suggests, just because it hasn't made many significant acquisitions yet doesn't mean that strategy is off the table.

"Partnership is like dating: if it works it might be converted into an acquisition," Banerjee told us in an email. "Most companies go that route to check compatibility, organizational ethics, etc., then take a more concrete decision around acquisition. I would not be surprised if that's the strategy here."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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