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Agilent sets OSI free

Sobha Renaissance Information Technology agreed today to acquire Agilent Technologies’ Objective Systems Integrators division. This marks the second acquisition by SRIT in the last year. It acquired Germany’s Billing Components AG last May.

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The OSI acquisition adds approximately 150 new customers to SRIT's base, many of them Tier 1 service providers from around the world. It also gives SRIT one of the better service assurance platforms in the market.

“This one has been brewing for some time and should work out really well,” said Karl Whitelock, senior consulting analyst at Stratecast Partners. Whitelock previously worked in Agilent’s OSS business.

SRIT is based in Bangalore, India. It is a global IT solutions company that focuses on application software development services in what it calls a hybrid onsite-offshore development model. It services Fortune 500 enterprise companies as well as the healthcare and telecom industries. SRIT is one of a growing number of companies from India acquiring telecom software vendors in the U.S. and elsewhere. Last year, Bangalore’s Subex bought British revenue assurance company Azure for $140 million and in January announced it was buying Canadian OSS provider Syndesis for $164.5 million.

PNC Menon, founder and chairman of the Sobha Group, said Agilent’s OSI is a great fit with SRIT’s Telecom strategy and would clearly position the company as a leader in the OSS/BSS space. Madhu Nambiar, SRIT's co-founder and CEO said the focus of the deal is clearly integration. It combines SRIT’s BSS product line with OSI’s Unified Management Architecture Platform for service assurance, fulfillment and usage data analysis.

“SRIT was founded on the belief that there was a strong need for a properly proportioned, India-based multi-national resource to meet the ever-growing telecoms OSS, BSS, software development and business process outsourcing needs of its global clients,” Nambiar said. The combination of Agilent's OSI Telecom Division and Billing Components AG will allow SRIT to offer comprehensive services and give it a footprint in all geographies,” he said in a statement.

The acquisition is expected to be accretive to SRIT’s earnings in the 2007-2008 fiscal timeframe. It is expected to close by the end of May.

SRIT named Hamish Butler as the CEO of OSI. He is currently the general manager for the NetXpert business within Agilent. Randy Custeau was named the new vice president for sales and marketing for the OSI division. Both have been appointed as members of the OSI board of directors.

Agilent acquired OSI in January 2001 for approximately $665 million. Agilent subsequently built an OSS business around this and other technology, but decided last year to exit this market segment and focus on its test and measurement and life sciences businesses.

“When OSI was bought by Agilent, it had the cat’s meow of customers--all Tier 1s in North America and the big telcos in Europe and Asia--so they have a very respectful customer base,” Whitelock said. However, he said Agilent has mostly been milking the business and didn’t grow it because the company wasn’t used to selling software.

“So it’s been in maintenance mode, but the good thing is, Agilent went into the interworkings of NetXpert and shored it up. They reinforced it and made it a much stronger platform. So it is coming out now with an identity,” Whitelock said. “Watch that one over the next 12 months. It will be interesting to see how it buds and blossoms.”

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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