Amdocs bolsters SON expertise

Amdocs has been a serial acquirer in recent years, as it expands it traditional billing business into every area of the service provider back office. Its latest purchase is of Celcite Management Solutions, a specialist in SON (self-organizing networks) software, a deal which will fit into the larger firm's deepening focus on CEM (customer experience management).
Amdocs will pay about $129 million (€96 million) in cash for “substantially all the assets” of Celcite, and additional sums may be paid later if certain performance targets are met. The purchase comes hard on the heels of the $120 million takeover of Actix, and the two are clearly complementary
Both expand the customer experience portfolio further into the management of the network, as Amdocs looks to ride the trend for convergence of network and IT tools. Its brace of purchases combines Actix's network analytics – location-aware down to the individual cell site – with the SON intelligence to optimize the network to deliver good quality of experience. Such activities can then be integrated with customer information held in IT systems such as postpaid billing, Amdocs' traditional forte.
“Together, Amdocs, Celcite and Actix will emerge as the preferred provider of network management and SON solutions to service providers worldwide,” said Rahul Sharma, Celcite's CEO and founder. He promises “end-to-end offerings to relieve customers' core network challenges, including capacity and rollout, and help them tie the customer experience to the network in real time”.
Amdocs, for its part, promised to harness its new divisions to “offer service providers comprehensive equipment-agnostic optimization solutions”, laying down a clear challenge to the network vendors, which have traditionally regarded network tools as their own domain, and are also trying to move into the CES and IT arenas.
The Israeli company's VP of product and solutions marketing, Rebecca Prudhomme, said, “Amdocs customers must optimize their networks to handle the data explosion and reduce associated costs. One of their largest pain points is dealing with issues that arise within the radio network, which are typically responsible for a large percentage of all customer satisfaction and churn problems.”
Amdocs expects the acquisition to affect 2014 non-GAAP earnings per share only marginally but added it may incur acquisition-related costs in fiscal year 2014.