AsiaInfo – This is Kind of a Big Deal

What does AsiaInfo’s first European deal means for the OSS industry? AsiaInfo is to BSS what Huawei is to IP network equipment. They have the funding, the technology, the ambition, and plenty of staff to deliver.

This week AsiaInfo Linkage announced their win at Telenor for delivery of a BSS solution.

“The contract is with Telenor ASA (Telenor Group), which has operations in seven European countries. The win represents AsiaInfo’s first project with a top-tier European operator group after the company formally launched operations in the EMEA region last year.”

AsiaInfo may have few deployments outside of Asia, but the growth in their home territory has been significant, providing a proving ground for their solutions.

AsiaInfo’s European operation was formally launched last year, according to the press release. To have won a major European deal in that time is itself noteworthy. Our industry is use to 12-18 month sales-cycles, so closing Telenor in a year-ish is a good indicator that they are able to gain traction in Europe.

The implication for the BSS industry is clear: A new emerging competitor. Not a start-up, but one who already has the scale to compete, win and deliver.

For OSS, there will be a knock-on effect as the Big BSS/OSS companies start to feel the pain from greater BSS competition. AsiaInfo’s OSS offering is limited right now; They have some business intelligence products, but that appears to be all. The incumbent OSS/BSS vendors may therefore leverage their OSS products as a differentiator, including them in BSS projects to sweeten the deal.

Ultimately, I would be surprised if AsiaInfo does not build or acquire their own OSS capabilities in the next 2-3 years to give them a level playing field with Amdocs, Ericsson and Netcracker/NEC.

AsiaInfo could acquire a tier-two OSS vendor, but then they’d be buying in to a product suite designed for the 1990s/2000s. A more disruptive approach would be for AsiaInfo to start with a clean slate and build OSS that meets the specific needs of SDN, NFV and cloud-based communication services.

You can read the AsiaInfo press release here.

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