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RealTime IT News

MetaSolv Picks Up Fulfillment Assets from Nortel

The trend of tech infrastructure giants selling off bits and parts of their giant bodies continued Tuesday with Nortel Networks casting off some of its service commerce operation support system (OSS) business. Network communications software provider MetaSolv Inc. paid Nortel $35 million for the assets.

The purchase includes software assets of Architel Systems, which was acquired by Nortel Networks in 2000, and certain additional assets of Nortel Networks service management and business management OSS groups. An OSS is a set of programs that help a communications service provider monitor and control problems with a telephone or computer network.

The deal is important to Plano, Texas' MetaSolv because it boosts the outfit's fulfillment ability, which will enable service providers to deliver differentiated services -- ordering, tracking usage and billing -- for IP, data, and wireless. The pact also adds carrier grade service activation to MetaSolv's solution product suite. The firm believes it can entice service providers with its extended product portfolio because they will have the ability to deliver communications services over packet-based systems such as IP VPN, Gigabit Ethernet, ATM/Frame Relay, MPLS and 2.5G/3G wireless.

Elisabeth Rainge, director of network and service management at IDC, approved of the move and talked about it in a public statement.

"With the acquisition, MetaSolv has expanded its fulfillment product portfolio, and is positioned to offer the most comprehensive and industry-tested fulfillment solution available," said Rainge. "This transaction also is an important milestone for the communications software industry. We believe service providers will benefit as software leaders focus their expertise on service management solutions, as hardware providers re-focus on core competencies."

In addition to the infrastructure, MetaSolv said the deal enables it to add a significant number of major global communications industry leaders to its customer base. Also, as part of a reseller agreement, MetaSolv will maintain such relationships with Nortel that the Canadian networking firm will offer MetaSolv's newly-enhanced OSS to interested parties.

"Focusing on the needs of our expanded global customer base will be our highest priority as we implement a focused plan to integrate the carrier grade products, talented and experienced people, and dynamic cultures of the combined organizations," said T. Curtis Holmes, MetaSolv president and COO.

Nortel's service commerce business is based in Ottawa, Toronto, and London, with several additional global field offices, but neither firm discussed layoffs or employee shifts Tuesday. The transaction will be accounted for using the purchase accounting method and is expected to close by early next month.

Larger tech firms have been busy selling off whole units or outsourcing operations in recent months to cut costs. Last week, Hewlett-Packard Co. said it will continue to reduce its PC operations costs by hiring even more companies to make its computers. Two weeks ago, IBM Corp. announced that electronics manufacturer Sanmina-SCI Corp. had agreed take on a "significant portion" of its PC manufacturing needs. Before that, IBM had also shed its fiber optic transceiver unit for $340 million in cash and stock.