OSS acquisitions

Much of what is called investment is actually nothing more than mergers and acquisitions, and of course mergers and acquisitions are generally accompanied by downsizing.”
Susan George.

In recent times, OSS has come under increased attention from the incumbent equipment manufacturers for a variety of reasons, not least being their shifting focus towards services rather than products and virtualisation making networks more software definable.

Following this trend, there have been a number of expensive acquisitions of OSS solutions. I’m sure there are many compelling reasons (eg customer footprint, clever employees, projected ROI, etc) for each of those acquisitions but I would tend to exclude the technology roadmap as being one of those reasons in a majority of cases (if I was on the evaluation team).

In yesterday’s blog entry I spoke of the challenges facing current OSS implementations. Following on from those concepts, I feel that the acquiring organisations would be better off investing in the development of revolutionary, next-generation OSS (real-time, unstructured data, decentralised, etc) rather than purchasing long-held OSS IP that could potentially become out-dated quickly – IP built on platforms that are already decades old and in need of refactoring.

This could be controversial as OSS have adapted to many network technology changes over the last few decades, so perhaps they will be able to once more with virtualisation but the fundamentals are so different now.


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