NEC is buying OSS firm NetCracker, a move we think sends the clearest signal so far on the importance of operations software in the telecom space. NetCracker is known for a strong service delivery platform (SDP) software position, a class of operations and service feature strategies that focus on hosting features and operations elements on specialized platforms.
We believe that telco equipment vendors will generally beef up their OSS positions, but in particular will be beefing up their SDP positions, as consumer services and partnerships with higher-layer players change the nature of service provider revenue targets and infrastructure priorities.
NEC sees this as an entrée into the telco space, and they’re right. The price of playing in major deals in the future is going to include the ability to supply integrated operations solutions. If they’re your own, you have differentiation. If they’re someone else’s, you’re heading down the road to plumbing.