Tribold. Kerching! $11 Million in VC Funding

Tribold have announced an injection of US$11 Million from venture capitalists Intel Capital, DFJ Esprit and Eden Ventures. The PR is here.

Light Reading has a good write-up on the boost to Tribold’s reputation from not only being able to secure funding in a difficult economic climate, but also from apparently being sought-out by Intel Capital.

Tribold is an interesting company. They are an OSS/BSS company focused on product lifecycle management, PLM (there are many alternative names and acronyms). PLM addresses the need for telcos to understand what products they can offer specific customers, how their pricing changes depending on factors like bundling or promotion, what products are complimentary or mandatory. That sort of thing. PLM also provides essential integration, typically with CRM, order management, billing and fulfilment to ensure all systems involved in delivering the product have an aligned understanding of the product specification. The big guys have broadly similar solutions: Amdocs Enterprise Product Catalog and Telcordia Dynamic Service Catalog, for example. Tribold however are a relative young company with one solution to focus on. It’s actually a pretty complex area to address with an off-the-shelf product, and the market also needs thought leadership. So good to have a start-up mixing things up a bit, spending plenty of marketing dollars and drumming-up some interest.

A while back, I was product manager for Amdocs Service Catalog (now part of Service Composition Manager, I believe), which isn’t directly competitive with Tribold, but addresses a similar need to manage a product’s technical specification lifecycle. What was obvious, and made that particular job interesting, was how the market didn’t really understand the problem or the solution yet. Can a service catalogue manage commercial specifications? Can a PLM manage technical specifications? Where’s the line drawn between OSS and BSS? Is the product model built by my engineers, product managers or marketing teams? And so on. Reminded me of selling OSS inventory market back in 1999.

Great news then, that Tribold gets a high-profile investment. Hopefully it will be seen as a vote of confidence and make product lifecycle management, and the broader product/service catalogue solution space, become more accepted as critical OSS/BSS components.