Oracle is adding to its rapidly growing communications application portfolio with the proposed acquisition of network intelligence, analytics and network data integrity software vendor Netsure Telecom.
Netsure sells its applications to communications service providers, where the software is geared toward driving efficient operation and utilization of networks and services. Customers include Vodafone, Cable & Wireless, and Eircom.
The addition of Netsure’s products to Oracle’s comprehensive communications applications suite is expected to help Oracle’s customers improve network utilization, optimize capacity planning and financial modeling, and streamline end-to-end network lifecycle management, said Oracle senior vice president and general manager, Bhaskar Gorti. In conjunction with Oracle’s ERP, supply chain, inventory management, and network-discovery solutions, Oracle plans to provide service providers the ability to improve their network ROI and increase their operational efficiency as they launch, deploy, and profit from next-generation IP services.
Netsure has two application suites. Active Network Optimisation addresses network optimization, capacity planning and trending, and network financial modeling. Reconciler handles network data integrity by reconciling the live communications network with a data model of the network stored in inventory or repository systems.
These two areas are complementary to the rest of the Oracle communications portfolio, and position it well to provide software infrastructure support to the growing next-generation network phenomenon, said David Mitchell, senior vice president of IT research at Ovum.
Dublin, Ireland-based Netsure will join the Oracle Communications Global Business Unit, which was established last year, and is home to Oracle’s in-house built comms software, plus comms-specific acquisitions such as HotSip, MetaSolv Software, Net4Call, Portal Software, and Telephony@Work.
Oracle has always been a major software player in the communications industry, with market share dominance in its database technology. The string of acquisitions has turned it an even more significant player in the market, said Mitchell.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close later this month. The staff and management are expected to be retained and continue to operate out of Netsure’s Dublin offices.
The scope of Oracle’s capabilities in the communications space has expanded significantly over the past year as it has added billing and revenue management, inventory management, activation, provisioning and mediation. These solutions have been brought together under the Communication suite banner and combined with Oracle’s Siebel CRM system, the E-Business Suite, and the Oracle Service Delivery Platform to provide an extensive application suite.
Netsure will add business intelligence and analytics for the network domain. Oracle describes Netsure’s solutions as being product-based and supporting open standards. It expects the combination of the product capabilities and Oracle’s network inventory, provisioning, and financial asset management applications will enable service providers to improve proactive network planning, modeling and optimization, reduce operational costs, and increase the utilization and efficiency of both leased and owned network capacity.
Oracle is building its industry specific applications and operations on the same model. It goes to market with core technology in the form of its database and middleware offerings. It layers horizontal business applications such as ERP, financials, CRM, SCM, and so on, on top of the technology layer. It then adds a plethora of industry-specific functionality in the form of best-of-breed applications, mostly based on acquisitions.
It is not just the layering that is important but the ability to connect horizontal and vertical capabilities. In the comms area Oracle is able to combine horizontal enterprise systems with the operational support systems that are specific to the comms industry. Netsure will bridge enterprise management systems such as SCM, projects, fixed assets, and asset management, with OSS capabilities like Oracle Inventory and network discovery.
By connecting the information contained in each type of system, Oracle’s intention is to provide an end-to-end, integrated, network resource management system capable of providing both technical and business intelligence across the business. Oracle’s closest competition in this sense is probably Amdocs. But although it is able to integrate OSS with CRM capabilities, it does not have Oracle’s depth in terms of broad-based enterprise applications and the underlying technology stack.