Yesterday, telco software provider Amdocs announced that it had bought Actix, a provider of network optimisation solutions, for $120 million. Amdocs is best known perhaps for its BSS (billing, CRM, etc) solutions, but it also sits on some network facing software, such as planning and network design and of course it has policy and control elements through its past acquistion of Bridgewater Systems.
So why go to the market for a network optimisation player and provider of centralised SON software such as Actix?
In the press release, Amdocs made note of the following:
Amdocs will be expanding its CES (Customer Experience Systems) portfolio with geo-located network data that will drive a variety of optimization use cases. The acquisition will position Amdocs as the first vendor to offer customer experience-driven network optimisation based on a holistic view of the customer experience across all networks, BSS and OSS (business and operational support systems).
So what does that actually mean in terms of what Amdocs will do with Actix’s software? TMN asked Rebecca Prudhomme, vice president of product and solutions marketing for Amdocs, three questions.
1. Why the deal? What does Amdocs want from Actix and how do you see it fitting into the business?
RP: This acquisition enables Amdocs to expand our Customer Experience Systems (CES) product portfolio so service providers can combine real-time network and customer insight to offer a differentiated customer experience. We’re striving to integrate the knowledge held in our OSS, BSS and policy solutions with customer insight gained from the network to deliver a holistic customer view. Actix brings the capability to extract this network insight with the industry’s first and most widely deployed multi-vendor, multi-technology mobile analytics and optimisation platform which delivers geo-located network intelligence.
This means Service Providers will be able to take more proactive and intelligent actions to deliver an optimal customer experience, whilst best utilising their network resources. They will be able to differentiate with geo-located network-driven customer experiences like never before.
2. How do you see this impacting on Actix’s product development and on its customer relationships?
For the next few months we expect the Actix roadmap to remain the same and the Actix team will be focussed on growing their existing business and the exciting roadmap items they already have planned. With minimal development in the next few months we can offer new solutions for network rollout using Actix to identify locations, Amdocs automated rollout solutions to rapidly and efficiently roll out or split cells etc, and Actix to assure quality in network acceptance.
We see Actix assets as a strategic addition to the Amdocs product portfolio which we intend to continue to offer, as well as invest in as future product. We will develop sophisticated customer experience use cases such as proactive customer care, congestion policies for target customer groups and location based campaigns, but this is part of post merger integration planning to determine timing.
In terms of the acquisition impact on Actix customers, Amdocs and Actix share multiple customers and we firmly believe this acquisition will further strengthen these relationships, provide cross-sell opportunities, while allowing us to combine our capabilities to better address their biggest business challenges.
3. Given Amdocs has now taken the route of in-housing Actix’s solutions