Cisco Buys Bits of Comptel

It says here that Comptel is selling parts of its OSS portfolio to Cisco.

This is not the clear-cut Big-Vendor-Buys-OSS-Company that we are familiar with. No, in this case Cisco is acquiring a specific part of Comptel's OSS product portfolio: The Axioss suite picked up as part of Comptel's own acquisition of UK-based Axiom back in 2008.

Furthermore, some of the Axioss staff will move as part of the deal, but Comptel will remain in the OSS market with its other products and, perhaps most interestingly, will continue to offer support to their existing Axioss customers.

So, from Cisco's perspective it's a technology purchase, giving them the freedom to employ it however they wish, without the ball-and-chain of existing support contracts.

Cisco has a history of investing in OSS to augment the core iOS network management system. This investment has been both in-house development and acquisition. To my knowledge this is a first step-up to 'proper' fulfilment OSS, as opposed to stand-alone engineering tools.

Expect more of this in the next twenty four months: Anyone at recent events like TMW Dublin will have noticed how the traditional OSS vendors booths are getting smaller while hardware vendors like Huawei are Going Big.

Hardware vendors <3 OSS right now. This, along with the Ericordia deal, is the start of a second wave of OSS deals.

Update: The purchase price is 21.3 million Euros. Not bad in the current economy. Comptel acquired Axiom for 'up to' 21.6 million Euros, based on another slightly unusual deal that tied the price to their business performance for the year.

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