ISPSoft Gains Lucent Endowment

The New Ventures Group of Lucent
Technologies Inc.
Monday announced its taking a minority stake in ISPSoft Inc.


ISPSoft, a New Jersey-based start-up firm, develops software tools that
facilitate provisioning, managing and monitoring Internet Protocol-based
narrow and broadband services. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.


As a result of the deal, Lucent owns a small share of
ISPSoft in return for its equity investment. Additionally, the deal allows
ISPSoft to license intellectual property from Bell Labs.


Lucent intends to offer ISPSoft-based applications to Internet service
providers and communications carriers that need a fast, economical means to
deploy new IP-based services.


The deal marks the 21st venture the Lucent group has initiated since its
was formed in 1997. Lucent’s New Ventures Group’s was developed to take the
fruits of Bell Lab’s research and development labors to market. The unit
combs through ideas generated by Bell Lab’s engineers, in search of
products that can be turned into viable enterprises.


Once an idea has been targeted, Tom Uhlman, New Ventures Group president,
coordinates venture capital and corporate backing to supplement the money
Lucent throws behind the startup. Uhlman said the ISPSoft deal is another
venture that aims to make the most out of Bell Lab’s engineering strengths.


“Today’s highly competitive IP services market needs the uniquely powerful
blend of technical competence and industry savvy that ISPSoft brings to its
customers,” Uhlman said. “As with all of our venture investments, ISPSoft
helps Lucent get the most out of the immense technical capabilities of Bell
Labs by getting innovation to the market faster.”


Binay Sugla, ISPSoft president and chief executive officer, said its
software is essential for ISPs to remain competitive in a fast-paced
marketplace.


“Provisioning, service and network management, and administrative processes
are costly, time-consuming operations for companies that supply IP
services,” Sugla said. “Our suite of products and services can automate and
take the mystery out of these processes, allowing providers to move nimbly
and compete successfully in a fast-paced, highly competitive environment.”


ISPSoft’s products and services provide automated provisioning and bulk
provisioning solutions and programs that test and manage service problems.


Its developed an ISP provisioning tool that enables providers to create
multiple service packages, offer different classes of services, and
provision service packages through a single, automated procedure.


From there, a suite of management tools to help customers provision,
configure and monitor network elements. Programming facilitates an ISPs
ability to extend new services to existing customers, audit subscriber
accounts, and integrate new services throughout billing, customer care and
management systems.


According to International Data Corp.,
estimates indicate that about $1 billion is being spent annually on IP
network management software and platforms. With the rapid growth of
Internet users and IP-based services, the market for provisioning software
alone is expected to grow to $4 to 5 billion in the next few years.


Sugla said ISPSoft could potentially cut ISP’s initial operating costs in half.


“The cost of provisioning, administering and managing IP services, done by
in-house staffs and outside vendors, now typically runs to 20 to 50 percent
of a service provider’s operational costs,” Sugla said. “Our automated
tools and services enable ISPs to concentrate on meeting current and
emerging customer needs.”

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