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.

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