Microsoft to acquire GitHub

Microsoft to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion.

Microsoft Corp. announced it has reached an agreement to acquire GitHub, the world’s leading software development platform where more than 28 million developers learn, share and collaborate to create the future. Together, the two companies will empower developers to achieve more at every stage of the development lifecycle, accelerate enterprise use of GitHub, and bring Microsoft’s developer tools and services to new audiences.

“Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness and innovation,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “We recognize the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate and solve the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock. Subject to customary closing conditions and completion of regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of the calendar year.

GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for all developers in all industries. Developers will continue to be able to use the programming languages, tools and operating systems of their choice for their projects — and will still be able to deploy their code to any operating system, any cloud and any device.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Nat Friedman, founder of Xamarin and an open source veteran, will assume the role of GitHub CEO. GitHub’s current CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will become a Microsoft technical fellow, reporting to Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie, to work on strategic software initiatives.

“I’m extremely proud of what GitHub and our community have accomplished over the past decade, and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead. The future of software development is bright, and I’m thrilled to be joining forces with Microsoft to help make it a reality,” Wanstrath said. “Their focus on developers lines up perfectly with our own, and their scale, tools and global cloud will play a huge role in making GitHub even more valuable for developers everywhere.”

Today, every company is becoming a software company and developers are at the center of digital transformation; they drive business processes and functions across organizations from customer service and HR to marketing and IT. And the choices these developers make will increasingly determine value creation and growth across every industry. GitHub is home for modern developers and the world’s most popular destination for open source projects and software innovation. The platform hosts a growing network of developers in nearly every country representing more than 1.5 million companies across healthcare, manufacturing, technology, financial services, retail and more.

Upon closing, Microsoft expects GitHub’s financials to be reported as part of the Intelligent Cloud segment. Microsoft expects the acquisition will be accretive to operating income in fiscal year 2020 on a non-GAAP basis, and to have minimal dilution of less than 1 percent to earnings per share in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 on a non-GAAP basis, based on the expected close time frame. Non-GAAP excludes expected impact of purchase accounting adjustments, as well as integration and transaction-related expenses. An incremental share buyback, beyond Microsoft’s recent historical quarterly pace, is expected to offset stock consideration paid within six months after closing. Microsoft will use a portion of the remaining ~$30 billion of its current share repurchase authorization for the purchase.

Further rebukes for Trump and ZTE

First ZTE was banned, then given a lifeline by President Trump, but then Trump has also been rebuked.

The House Appropriations Committee unanimously accepted an amendment to an appropriations bill on Thursday that reinforces sanctions against Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, a rebuke to President Trump, who earlier this week tweeted support for the company.” reported TheHill.com.

AT&T, SKT and Intel to Launch a New Open Infrastructure Project, Airship

AT&T Working With SKT and Intel to Launch a New Open Infrastructure Project, Airship.

As part of our ongoing commitment to open and collaborative innovation, we’re working with SKT, Intel Corporation and the OpenStack Foundation to launch a new open infrastructure project called Airship. This project builds on the foundation laid by the OpenStack-Helm project launched in 2017. It lets cloud operators manage sites at every stage from creation through minor and major updates, including configuration changes and OpenStack upgrades. It does all this through a unified, declarative, fully containerized, and cloud-native platform.

Simply put, Airship lets you build a cloud easier than ever before. Whether you’re a telecom, manufacturer, health care provider, or an individual developer, Airship makes it easy to predictably build and manage cloud infrastructure.

It’s built using microservices, which we think are the future of software development, and embraces cloud native principles out of the box. This lets each Airship microservice perform one specific role in the cloud delivery and management process, and do it well. The ultimate goal of Airship is to help operators take hardware from loading dock to an OpenStack cloud, all while ensuring first-class life cycle management of that cloud once it enters production.

The initial focus of this project is the implementation of a declarative platform to introduce OpenStack on Kubernetes (OOK) and the lifecycle management of the resulting cloud, with the scale, speed, resiliency, flexibility, and operational predictability demanded of network clouds.

“Declarative” might be a new term to some readers. But it’s a simple concept with huge benefits. In a nutshell, every aspect of your cloud is defined in standardized documents that give you extremely flexible and fine grain control of your cloud infrastructure.  You simply manage the documents themselves and submit them and the platform takes care of the rest. This includes determining what has changed since the last submission and orchestrating those changes.

AT&T is contributing code for Airship that started in collaboration with SKT, Intel and a number of other companies in 2017. It’s the foundation of AT&T’s network cloud that will run our 5G core supporting the late 2018 launch of 5G service in 12 cities. Airship will also be used by Akraino Edge Stack, which is a new Linux Foundation project. Akraino is intended to create an open source software stack supporting high-availability cloud services optimized for edge computing systems and applications.

Airship will fuel and accelerate our Network AI initiative which houses several of our other open source projects. We want to build and nurture an open ecosystem of developers who can work together to advance this technology and deploy it within their own organizations.

Ryan van Wyk, assistant vice president of Cloud Platform Development at AT&T Labs, describes it like this: “Airship is going to allow AT&T and other operators to deliver cloud infrastructure predictably that is 100% declarative, where Day Zero is managed the same as future updates via a single unified workflow, and where absolutely everything is a container from the bare metal up.”

Ryan and his team will follow this blog post with a more in-depth introduction to project Airship in the next few days.

“We are pleased to bring continued innovation with Airship, extending the work we started in 2016 with the OpenStack and Kubernetes communities to create a continuum for modern and open infrastructure. Airship will bring new network edge capabilities to these stacks and Intel is committed to working with this project and the many other upstream projects to continue our focus of upstream first development and accelerating the industry.” – Imad Sousou, corporate vice president and general manager of the Open Source Technology Center at Intel

To get involved in this new Open Infrastructure Project for OpenStack, please attend one of the OpenStack Vancouver Summit talks, or go to airshipit.org.

Oracle buys DataScience.com

Oracle Buys DataScience.com.

Oracle announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire DataScience.com, whose platform centralizes data science tools, projects and infrastructure in a fully-governed workspace.

Data science teams use the platform to organize work, easily access data and computing resources, and execute end-to-end model development workflows. Leading organizations like Amgen, Rio Tinto, and Sonos are using the DataScience.com platform to improve productivity, reduce operational costs and deploy machine learning solutions faster to power their digital transformations.

DataScience.com empowers data scientists to deliver the business-changing insights executives expect in less time with self-service access to open source tools, data and computing resources, while also improving the ability of IT teams to support that work. Oracle embeds Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities across its software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) solutions, including big data, analytics and security operations, to enable digital transformations. Together, Oracle and DataScience.com will provide customers with a single data science platform that leverages Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and the breadth of Oracle’s integrated SaaS and PaaS offerings to help them realize the full potential of machine learning.

“Every organization is now exploring data science and machine learning as a key way to proactively develop competitive advantage, but the lack of comprehensive tooling and integrated machine learning capabilities can cause these projects to fall short,” said Amit Zavery, Executive Vice President of Oracle Cloud Platform, Oracle. “With the combination of Oracle and DataScience.com, customers will be able to harness a single data science platform to more effectively leverage machine learning and big data for predictive analysis and improved business results.”

“Data science requires a comprehensive platform to simplify operations and deliver value at scale,” said Ian Swanson, CEO of DataScience.com. “With DataScience.com, customers leverage a robust, easy-to-use platform that removes barriers to deploying valuable machine learning models in production. We are extremely enthusiastic about joining forces with Oracle’s leading cloud platform so customers can realize the benefits of their investments in data science.”

DGIT Systems acquires Inomial

DGIT Systems acquires billing systems vendor Inomial.

DGIT Systems announced the acquisition of Inomial Pty Ltd. Inomial Pty Ltd is a Billing Systems Vendor with a strong customer base predominantly located in the Asia Pacific region.

“Inomial’s suite of billing related products complement DGITs award winning Telflow Service Delivery Platform”, Greg Tilton CEO DGIT Systems said today. “The acquisition of Inomial provides us with a significant value- our offer now supports a full-service proposition for our customers delivered as a cloud or on – premises option.”

The combined Telflow and Inomial value proposition provides a realisation of the TM Forum Open Digital Architecture powered by TM Forum Open API’s to provide solutions spanning from digital customer channels to virtualised networks.

DGIT Systems and Inomial have worked together as strategic partners with a common group of customers for some time and collaboration between the R&D programs have both produce suites aligned on a dynamic microservices architecture in keeping with the very latest in IT Architecture thinking. DGITs acquisition will facilitate a seamless Quote-to-Order-to-Activate-to-Bill to cover complex enterprise network solutions, managed services and B2B integrated domestic or global wholesale.

Michael Lawrey, Chairman at DGIT Systems welcomed Inomial Pty Ltd founder Mark Lillywhite to the Board of DGIT Systems noting that “Mark’s ongoing involvement and contribution to DGIT Systems through his role as a Board member and Head of the Billing Systems Division will be invaluable and further strengthen our leadership in this space. DGIT is on a mission to provide the most capable Quote-to-Cash and Order-to-Activate platform for the Telco and Service Provider industries.”

HPE buys Plexxi

HPE to Acquire Plexxi.

Ric Lewis of HPE writes in his blog…
Our customers live in a hybrid world, running a mix of workloads on traditional IT, as well as private, managed and public clouds. They need to be able to move at cloud-like speed, regardless of where the data lives. HPE is focused on delivering a portfolio of products and services that simplify hybrid IT, helping customers to move faster and to drive business value.

Today, I’m thrilled to announce that we are taking another important step to deliver on this promise of simplification and speed: we’ve reached an agreement to acquire Plexxi, a leading provider of software-defined data fabric networking technology. The company was founded in 2010 and is focused on enabling data center modernization and hybrid cloud with its software-defined data fabric.

Plexxi’s technology will extend HPE’s market-leading software-defined compute and storage capabilities into the high-growth, software-defined networking market, expanding our addressable market and strengthening our offerings for customers and partners. By seamlessly combining Plexxi’s next-generation data center fabric with HPE’s existing software-defined infrastructure, HPE can deliver a true cloud-like experience in the data center. Through this acquisition, we will deliver hyperconverged and composable solutions with a next-generation data network fabric that can automatically create or re-balance bandwidth to workload needs. This will increase agility and efficiency, and accelerate how quickly companies deploy applications and draw business value from their data.

We see two clear opportunities to integrate Plexxi’s innovative technology:

First, we intend to integrate Plexxi technology into our hyperconverged solutions. Building on last year’s SimpliVity acquisition, Plexxi will enable us to deliver the industry’s only hyperconverged offering that incorporates compute, storage and data fabric networking into a single solution, with a single management interface and support. The combined HPE SimpliVity plus Plexxi solution will provide customers with a highly dynamic workload-based model to better align IT resources to business priorities. HPE’s hyperconverged business has been growing at four times the market and HPE was recently named a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for hyperconverged. With Plexxi, we’ll be able to extend this lead over the competition.

Second, Plexxi’s technology will extend our composable infrastructure portfolio, called HPE Synergy. Composable infrastructure, built on HPE OneView, is a new category of infrastructure that delivers fluid pools of storage and compute resources that can be composed and recomposed as business needs dictate. In the near future with Plexxi, we will deliver a composable rack solution that will seamlessly extend our composable fabric to a broader set of use cases across the data center.”

Verizon to move 1,000+ apps to AWS

Verizon is migrating over 1,000 business-critical applications and database backend systems to AWS.
Courtesy of Businesswire.

Amazon Web Services announced that Verizon Communications has selected AWS as its preferred public cloud provider. Verizon is migrating over 1,000 business-critical applications and database backend systems to AWS, several of which also include the migration of production databases to Amazon Aurora—AWS’s relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.

Verizon first started working with AWS in 2015 and has several successful business and consumer applications already running in the cloud. This latest wave of migrations to AWS is part of a corporate-wide initiative at Verizon to increase agility and reduce costs through the use of cloud computing. Standardizing on AWS will enable Verizon to access the most comprehensive set of cloud capabilities available today so it can deliver innovative applications and services in hours versus weeks. To ensure that Verizon’s developers are able to invent on behalf of its customers, the company has also invested in building AWS-specific training facilities, called “dojos,” where its employees can quickly ramp up on AWS technologies and learn how to innovate with speed and at scale.

“We are making the public cloud a core part of our digital transformation, upgrading our database management approach to replace our proprietary solutions with Amazon Aurora,” said Mahmoud El-Assir, Senior Vice President of Global Technology Services at Verizon. “The agility we’ve gained by moving to the world’s leading public cloud has helped us better serve our customers. Working with AWS complements our focus on efficiency, speed, and innovation within our engineering culture, and has enabled us to quickly deliver the best, most efficient customer experiences.”

“Millions of consumers and businesses rely on Verizon to communicate and connect them to every corner of the world at a time when the stakes have never been higher to keep customers satisfied and engaged,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “We look forward to continuing our work with Verizon as their preferred public cloud provider, helping them to continually transform their business and innovate on behalf of their customers. The combination of Verizon’s team of builders with AWS’s extensive portfolio of cloud services and expertise means that Verizon’s options for delighting their customers is virtually unlimited.”

ZTE lifeline from Trump?

News last week of ZTE ceasing major operations due to US embargoes have taken another turn.

President Trump has now tweeted,”President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!

What will be the next twist in this saga?

Sigma Systems signs with Telkomsel

Sigma Systems Supports Telkomsel in Building a Digital Indonesia.

Sigma Systems, announced a major deal with Indonesia’s leading mobile network operator, Telkomsel.

With more than 190 million customers, Telkomsel is currently the largest mobile operator in Indonesia. Telkomsel has consistently implemented the latest mobile technology and was the first to commercially launch 4G LTE mobile services in the country. Entering the digital era, Telkomsel continues to expand its digital business to incorporate advertising, lifestyle, mobile financial services, and Internet of Things.

In support of their digital mandate, Telkomsel has selected Sigma Systems as a partner, establishing Sigma Catalog as the central enterprise catalog to underpin their evolving business.

“We are pleased to partner with Sigma to deploy a B/OSS platform that enables the rapid creation of personalized, micro-segmented offers to our customers. Sigma’s agile delivery methodology and product-centric approach ultimately supports Telkomsel’s mission of building a Digital Indonesia,” said Montgomery Hong, CIO at Telkomsel.

Sigma Systems CEO, Tim Spencer, commented: “Telkomsel is at the forefront of digital transformation in the region, and recognizes the critical role a catalog-driven solution plays in accelerating the creation, selling and delivery of innovative and deeply personalized market offerings. Sigma is honored to work with Indonesia’s leading mobile operator as they transition into a truly digital business.”

KCOM partners with Amdocs

Amdocs to provide KCOM with a service delivery platform offering capabilities for next generation networks including flexible bandwidth, time-bound bandwidth and SD-WAN services.

Amdocs announced that KCOM, a leading provider of communications, applications and integration services to the UK enterprise and consumer market, has selected an Amdocs service delivery platform to enhance its new next generation network infrastructure. Amdocs will provide a new orchestration platform that will support KCOM’s zero-touch customer service portal giving it the capability to select bandwidth on-demand, time-bound bandwidth and software-defined networking in wide area network (SD-WAN) options.

KCOM has deployed fibre-to-the-premises capability to 150,000 properties in Hull and East Yorkshire in the north of England, representing 75 percent of its network in the region1. It expects to have deployed full fibre across its entire network area by March 2019 and already has more customers with full fibre connections than with ADSL connections2. KCOM is ambitious to exploit its new network, which will ultimately see it deliver new Network Function Virtualization (NFV) based services to its customers. These will include service activation of orders where network components are managed through the delivery and activation process. Amdocs will provide automated software management of the network components to ensure that KCOM’s voice network service is capable of being delivered through online portals.

KCOM will also be migrating its public switched telephone network (PSTN) residential customers to Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Softswitch as part of this project, where the service delivery platform from Amdocs will be able to manage and automate any fulfilment steps without affecting the voice service received by residential customers.

“We want to improve the services we deliver to our customers and the experience we offer them. We’re starting with our voice services so need a platform that can deliver this phase and then be deployed more widely across our business as the basis for other services”, said Sean Royce, Executive Vice President for Technology, Service and Operations at KCOM. “By working with Amdocs, we are gaining a partner that shares KCOM’s ambitions and can grow with us.”

“KCOM is fully embracing the transition to virtualized networks which will see it transform its business and offer exceptional network performance to its customers,” said Gary Miles, chief marketing officer, Amdocs. “This will allow KCOM to provide service order management capabilities that can be expanded to other services and customer segments as it grows, and to stay competitive by improving network speed, capabilities and customer engagement.”

Vivo expands with Netcracker

Vivo Expands Netcracker’s Service Management as Part of Large-Scale Digital Transformation.

Netcracker Technology announced that Vivo, Telefónica Group’s Brazilian subsidiary, has upgraded and expanded its use of Netcracker’s Service Management solution. The solution will help Vivo standardize provisioning and activation for all B2B and B2C mobile services.

Vivo is the leading communications service provider in Brazil, delivering fixed-line and mobile voice, television and internet broadband services to approximately 97 million customers across the country.

Upgrading and expanding Netcracker’s Service Management solution is part of Vivo’s larger digital transformation and will enable Vivo to accelerate core mobile service delivery and management, ensuring speedy activation, provisioning and assurance. This expansion comes shortly after the announcement that Vivo extended its use of Netcracker’ s Revenue Management solution.

“Netcracker’s proven ability to deliver sophisticated solutions that enable and support digital transformation strategies largely influenced our decision to upgrade and expand our use of its service management platform,” said Adriana Lika, IT Director at Vivo. “By standardizing and streamlining the way we activate and provision mobile services, we will be able to provide our customers with a better experience.”

“In order to keep up with the demands from millions of subscribers in the rapidly digitalizing Latin American market, it’s critical for service providers to be agile,” said Fabio Gatto, General Manager of Latin America at Netcracker. “We are excited to continue working with Vivo and be the provider of choice for revenue and service management.”

ZTE stops operating activities and suspends trading

As a result of an export denial order by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), ZTE has opted to cease all major operating activities and trading of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The ban on ZTE comes as a result of selling products to Iran. It prevents ZTE from purchasing components (eg semiconductors), software (eg licensed components of Android OS) or technology from US manufacturers. It impacts ZTE products from smartphones to routing and switching gear.

Huawei is also under investigation by the US Department of Justice.

This could have widespread ramifications for the telecommunications industry as operators will now no longer be able to source replacement parts or upgrades. You could speculate that wholesale network replacement projects will soon follow as well as the trickle-down effect into OSS/BSS.

Note that I’m not just talking about ZTEsoft OSS/BSS here. I’m talking about all the other OSS/BSS that will need to be updated as a result of the seemingly inevitable ZTE equipment change-out. And I’m talking about the secondary, tertiary, etc impacts as well as all subsequent ripples. It starts with 5G but the ramifications could be much bigger over the next few years.

Telefónica Spain transforms DCs with Nuage

Telefónica Spain transforms its data centers with Nokia high-performance routing and Nuage Networks Virtualized Cloud Services.

Nokia and its venture focused on software-defined networking (SDN), Nuage Networks, are partnering with Telefónica Spain to build an open, elastic and highly secure data center network infrastructure, dramatically expanding the agility, scale and efficiency of its cloud-based services.

A key part of Telefónica’s cloud vision is to offer enterprises the ability to easily order, customize and configure value-added services through a self-service portal for on-demand delivery. Having already deployed an SD-WAN infrastructure in 2017, Telefónica is leveraging and extending that investment to include modern software-defined data centers (SDDC). The Nuage Networks Virtualized Cloud Services (VCS) solution automates secure connectivity and network services across efficient and advanced datacenter fabrics powered by Nokia and Nuage Networks routers. This modernization will propel Telefónica service offerings ranging from enterprise hosting and co-location to enterprise wide-area networks (WAN) and enterprise cloud infrastructure.

The Nuage Networks VCS solution allows Telefónica to accelerate the provisioning of new customers, applications and networks with cloud-scale efficiency. The solution automatically establishes networking configurations, with quality of service (QoS) and security policies. It also enables zero-touch, policy-based network automation of applications running on any infrastructure, whether virtual machines, containers or bare-metal servers. The solution is OpenStack compliant and fully certified with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack platform.

Additionally Nuage Networks will enable hybrid cloud seamless interconnection between Private DC, Telefónica SDDC and Public Clouds, where Telefónica’s customers require solutions to address the needs of cloud-based applications such as cloudbursting, optimizing latency, virtualized networking and routing services.

To implement Telefónica’s advanced leaf-spine datacenter architecture – a specialized topology that minimizes latency and bottlenecks – Nokia and Nuage Networks are delivering routing platforms with the density, flexibility, and cost efficiency to meet Telefónica’s objectives across the full range of interfaces. Telefónica’s hosted infrastructure ensures that enterprises get the highest level of agility and responsiveness, while avoiding the complexity and risks of managing their own cloud.

Joaquín Mata, director of operations, network and IT at Telefónica España, said: “To meet the rapidly emerging business requirements for agility and on-demand deployments, we moved aggressively to build our business connectivity services around a new cloud-based architecture. Nuage Networks provided us with a highly scalable SDN architecture that could support all our services across all our regions without disruption. We are confident our customers will significantly improve their businesses with these new cloud-based services.”

Sunil Khandekar, founder and chief executive officer of Nuage Networks from Nokia, said: “The IT, communications and service needs of today’s enterprises have much higher demands than just a few years ago and therefore require new technologies to support them. We worked closely with Telefónica to assure the Nuage Networks SDN solutions address the requirements of its entire network infrastructure from the data center to remote WAN sites around the globe. Enterprise customers who need more flexibility and agility to quickly propel themselves into new markets can get it through trusted providers like Telefónica.”

Overview of the solution to be deployed:

  • The Nuage Networks VCS enables Telefónica to automate the configuration, management and optimization of virtual networks in the datacenter, including bandwidth, QoS policy, and security services.
  • The Nuage Networks VCS provides per-tenant micro-segmentation and access controls to individual applications and workloads, irrespective of whether they are bare metal, virtual machines, or containers.
  • Nuage Networks enables Telefónica to deliver SD-WAN and SDDC services using a single common Networks Virtualized Services Platform (VSP), paving the way for a massively multi-tenant, fully automated and highly secure SDN infrastructure that spans the datacenter, the branch and the cloud.
  • Telefónica’s SDDC solution combines high performance routing and gateway functionality delivered by Nokia’s FP4-powered 7750 SR-1 routers for datacenter gateway and tera-leaf functionality. Nokia 7250 IXR-10 routers are deployed as super spine nodes, delivering massive density for 100GbE interconnection. Both platforms share the common SR OS operating system, proven over years of deployment in networks of leading operators, including Telefónica. Virtualized instantiations of network functions such as route reflectors (VSR-RR) are also based on the SR OS, and seamlessly deployed alongside SDDC & carrier SDN implementations.
  • The Nuage Networks 210 WBX will be used as a data center leaf router, offering a high density, flexible, cost-effective solution for 1GbE, 10GbE, 25GbE, 40GbE, 50GbE and 100GbE interfaces.

Bouygues Telecom extends with Netcracker

Bouygues Telecom Selects Netcracker’s Revenue Management Solution in its Drive Toward Convergence.

Netcracker Technology announced that the French operator Bouygues Telecom has extended its use of Netcracker’s Revenue Management solution. Bouygues Telecom already uses Netcracker’s solution for its mobile subscribers and plans to use the platform for fixed-line subscribers in Fall 2018.

As part of this initiative, Netcracker delivered an upgraded Revenue Management solution to Bouygues Telecom to support long-term growth strategies. The highly configurable and scalable Netcracker BSS platform will help Bouygues Telecom streamline core customer-facing processes and reduce operational costs.

“Throughout our partnership, Netcracker has validated its dedication and ability to continuously support our mission-critical billing operations,” said Alain Moustard, Chief Information Officer at Bouygues Telecom. “We extended our partnership with Netcracker and its next-generation Revenue Management solution to meet the digitalization transformation requirements from our market.”

“Leveraging scalable BSS is critical for service providers to deliver and bill for the highly digital and innovative services that customers expect today,” said Roni Levy, General Manager of Europe at Netcracker. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Bouygues Telecom as it strives to provide its customers with the most innovative, user-friendly digital services.”

Nokia acquires SpaceTime Insight

Nokia acquires SpaceTime Insight to expand its IoT software portfolio and accelerate vertical application development.

Nokia has acquired SpaceTime Insight to expand its Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio and IoT analytics capabilities, and accelerate the development of new IoT applications for key vertical markets.

Based in San Mateo, California, with offices in the U.S., Canada, U.K., India and Japan, SpaceTime Insight provides machine learning-powered analytics and IoT applications for some of the world’s largest transportation, energy and utilities organizations, including Entergy, FedEx, NextEra Energy, Singapore Power and Union Pacific Railroad. Its machine learning models and other advanced analytics, designed specifically for asset-intensive industries, predict asset health with a high degree of accuracy and optimize related operations. As a result, SpaceTime Insight’s applications help customers reduce cost and risk, increase operational efficiencies, reduce service outages and more.

The acquisition supports Nokia’s software strategy by bringing SpaceTime Insight’s sales expertise and proven track record in IoT application development, machine learning and data science to the Nokia Software IoT product unit. It will strengthen Nokia’s IoT software portfolio and IoT analytics capabilities, and accelerate the development of Nokia’s IoT offerings to deliver high-value IoT applications and services to new and existing customers.

The addition of SpaceTime Insight will also broaden the company’s ability to deliver new, advanced applications for key vertical markets, including energy, logistics, transportation and utilities.

Paul Lau, Chief Grid Strategy and Operations Officer at Sacramento Municipal Utility District, said: “We’ve partnered with SpaceTime to help us be more responsive, more efficient and ultimately able to deliver more value to our customers. Combining their innovative solutions with Nokia’s world-class portfolio will provide customers with powerful new tools to better manage assets, maximize efficiencies and deliver new capabilities.”

Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia Software, said: “Adding SpaceTime to Nokia Software is a strong step forward in our strategy, and will help us deliver a new class of intelligent solutions to meet the demands of an increasingly interconnected world. Together, we can empower customers to realize the full value of their people, processes and assets, and enable them to deliver rich, world-class digital experiences.”

SpaceTime Insight and its CEO Rob Schilling will join the IoT product unit within the Nokia Software business group.

Rob Schilling, CEO of SpaceTime Insight, said: “Today marks a transformational moment for SpaceTime, and I’m delighted to join forces with one of the world’s top organizations-a global brand that is reshaping the future of networking and intelligent software. I am excited for this incredible opportunity to help accelerate and scale Nokia’s IoT business and provide a new class of next-generation IoT solutions customers cannot find anywhere else.”

Vertel launches Nuage SD-WAN

Vertel launches SD-WAN services from Nuage Networks to organizations across Australia.

Vertel and Nuage Networks, Nokia’s software defined network (SDN) venture, will work together to launch software defined WAN (SD-WAN) services for Vertel’s government, enterprise and service provider customers in July this year. Once deployed, Vertel will be one of the first providers in Australia to offer seamless, cloud-connected WAN services, with its customers enjoying all the benefits of moving to the Cloud.

By offering cloud-native WAN services, the Nuage Networks SD-WAN solution will enable Vertel to better penetrate the market for critical network services in Australia. SD-WAN will also underpin the delivery of a range of enhanced ICT services such as managed security, Unified Communications, IP-PBX, video conferencing, carrier grade WLAN, private LTE, Push to talk over Cellular (PoC) and multi-access edge computing (MEC) services.

Andrew Findlay, Executive Director, Vertel, said: “We undertook a comprehensive analysis of the SD-WAN offerings in the market and as a provider of critical network services, the Nuage solution was the obvious choice for us. While the ‘over the top’ SD-WAN alternatives are a good fit for cost focused SMB customers, our customer base is more driven by the value that high performing ICT services create for their business. We benefit from the innovation and flexibility of Nuage while leveraging the experience and broader offerings of Nokia for the integration of their more traditional fixed and mobile offerings. We are also excited about the ability to dramatically simplify our customers’ access to and usage of a broad range of private and public cloud services.”

Sunil Khandekar, Chief Executive Officer, Nuage Networks, said: “We are excited to support Vertel as it seizes the benefits of SD-WAN to expand its presence in Australia. This is an important milestone since it is the first service provider SD-WAN project for us in Australia. Vertel will be able to leverage our extensive experience with tier one service providers around the world as they enter this new phase of offering software defined services.

Overview of the solution to be deployed:

  • Nokia Nuage Networks Virtualized Network Services (VNS) will enable Vertel to add automation, reduce operational expenditure and deliver secure and scalable WAN services across Australia
  • Nokia Professional Services team will ensure the efficient and timely completion of the project
  • Nuage Networks solution provides a single SDN automation platform for the private cloud, WAN, and public cloud, ensuring flexibility, agility and operational simplification

Netcracker extends Billing and CRM with Charter

Netcracker Extends Billing and CRM Relationship With Charter.

Netcracker Technology announced that Charter Communications has executed a long-term extension of its BSS and professional services relationship with Netcracker as part of its large-scale standardization program.

Charter, the second largest cable service provider in the United States which operates under the Spectrum brand, provides services to more than 25 million business and residential customers across the country. Following the acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks in 2016, Charter is standardizing and simplifying core customer-facing services and processes across the combined business.

Netcracker’s BSS solution provides Charter with CRM, ordering and billing capabilities for approximately half of its expanded customer base. As part of the multiyear extension, Charter will continue to leverage Netcracker’s solution and services to reduce operating costs, support increasing customer demands for complex digital services, and improve and standardize customer-facing services and processes.

“Netcracker’s Revenue Management and CRM solutions give us the flexibility and functionality needed to deliver the best possible experience to our customers as they demand more digital services,” said Mike Ciszek, Senior Vice President of Billing Operations at Charter. “We will continue leveraging Netcracker’s offerings as a means to standardize core customer processes.”

“The cable market is rapidly evolving, with new expectations around the delivery of high-value digital services, increasingly personalized multiservice bundles, and more efficient customer interactions,” said Christopher Finn, General Manager of North America at Netcracker. “As one of the largest cable operators in the United States, these capabilities are of the utmost importance for Charter. We are excited to extend our relationship with Charter and help the company meet these mission-critical objectives.”

SK Telecom to provide blockchain-based asset management service

SKT to provide blockchain-based asset management service
Courtesy of the Korea Herald.

SK Telecom will provide an asset management service by using blockchain technologies within this year, and build a platform that will help match blockchain startups with investors for growth of the techs and related industry, the mobile carrier’s blockchain unit head said Tuesday.

Oh Se-hyeon, executive vice president of SKT’s blockchain business unit, said the company is planning to launch a blockchain-based asset management and payment service, which will ensure trust for peer-to-peer transactions.

“The service will allow users to manage all bank accounts, credit cards, mileage points and other non-financial assets, including cryptocurrencies, in one basket, and enable transactions of the assets based on trust,” Oh said.

SKT will also launch a platform named “Token Exchange Hub” that will boost transparent financial transactions by startups and small and medium-size enterprises by supporting initial coin offering.

“SKT will provide systematic administrative supports for startups to issue bitcoins in a more transparent and safe manner through the platform,” Oh said.

The mobile carrier will not issue virtual coins or engage in ICO, but offer technological and financial consultations for startups.

“We will provide consistent supports for companies that will do businesses using blockchain technologies and help create a blockchain ecosystem,“ she added.

The SK Telecom blockchain blueprint can be found here.

Merkator acquires NetworkMining

Merkator acquires NetworkMining.

Merkator nv/sa, a geospatial asset management solution provider, announced the acquisition of NetworkMining nv/sa, an independent supplier of IP & Optical Network Mediation Software for Communication Service Providers & Utilities. For more than a decade, NetworkMining has been recognized as a specialist in IP/optical mediation and inventory software and as such will bolster Merkator’s expertise and portfolio of Telco & Utilities solutions.

Merkator and NetworkMining, both Belgian-based private companies, have gained the confidence of Tier-1 Telco and Smart Grid operators in Belgian & Luxembourg and throughout EMEA and Asia. NetworkMining deployments cover passive fiber and cable infrastructure, as well as active network technologies, including SDH, WDM, IP/MPLS, Ethernet and Microwave. At present devices from all leading IP & Optical Networking vendors are supported by NetworkMining’s software solutions.

Geert De Coensel, Director of Merkator nv/sa, explains: “The requirement for utility operators to combine both the physical network inventory with logical network information has been a big challenge for the past decades.” Merkator will provide unique software solutions to integrate the network design and build workflows together with real-time operations and maintenance. “This first acquisition allows us to better support network operators with their current and upcoming business challenges.”, added Geert De Coensel.

NetworkMining will be further consolidated into Merkator nv/sa with respect for all pending and future contracts. Roland Leners, CEO of NetworkMining, explains: “This is excellent news for our existing customers and partners. It enables NetworkMining to strengthen its position in the vibrant market of automation software for IP/optical networks. We also have immediate access to the Geo-expertise of the Merkator people and together we can offer a full stack solution to our customers.”

Orange Luxembourg contracts Comarch

Orange Luxembourg contracts Comarch for complete BSS overhaul.

Comarch, announced that Orange Luxembourg selected Comarch BSS products to improve billing and customer management processes.

The solution covers Orange mobile prepaid and postpaid services (voice and data), the “Orange Love” offer (internet, TV, VoIP, and mobile) as well as cloud and third party services in Luxembourg. These will be offered, charged, billed and managed using an array of Comarch BSS modules including Convergent Charging Billing & Revenue Management, Voucher Management, CRM, Self-Care, Product Catalog, Order Management, and Application Integration Framework.

Comarch will oversee and coordinate the whole project, which entails integrating over 40 IT systems, full system implementation, testing, migration, and roll-out. After go-live, the solution will be hosted in Comarch Data Center in Lille, France. On top of the solution, Comarch will provide managed services, covering a wide range of activities including support and maintenance, bill run, and regular catalog releases.

We were very impressed by Comarch’s highly responsive and flexible attitude, as well as their coverage of our current and future needs – said Werner De Laet, CEO at Orange Luxembourg. Telecom operators that want to stay competitive in today’s market need to deliver top-notch customer experience and provide personalized, data-driven services through all touchpoints. It is also crucial to manage all operational aspects by decreasing the number of incidents, improving response rates, and increasing efficiency through automation focused on added value activities. In partnership with Comarch, we aim to complete a very sizable project that will affect and transform all aspects of our BSS operations, ranging from prepaid charging and credit control to customer information management, mobile network provisioning, and trouble ticketing. Based on what we have seen so far, we are very hopeful and optimistic about the outcomes of the project.

Today, mobile consumers use their phones for all sorts of various daily activities. Modern BSS solutions need to reflect this and offer flexible billing and charging options, easy introduction of products and superior automation – all rooted in a data-centric and customer oriented approach. Orange Luxembourg needed modern IT tools that would allow all of that, at an acceptable cost. We will be performing a complete overhaul of our client’s BSS with 6 products and more than 30 functionalities to be implemented as well as over 40 system integrations planned. This will bring considerable improvements to Orange Luxembourg business processes by decreasing operational costs and boosting customer satisfaction – said Wojciech Pawlus, Managing Director – Benelux at Comarch.