Finns Facing the Future Together: Nokia to Buy Comptel
Feb 09, 2017
A question that immediately comes to mind upon hearing today that Nokia plans to buy Comptel for $370 million, is not whether it is a good fit, nor whether the price was fair, but why it has taken so long for someone, anyone, to buy a gem like Comptel.
We may never know the answer to that question. Besides, the point is now moot. Nokia has stated that advancing its software strategy was a prime motivator, so let’s look at that strategy: to build a standalone software business at scale…with additional sales capacity and a strategic partner network.
It could be that Comptel was not previously acquired in this very acquisitive market because the company was a good and prolific partner across both the OSS and BSS sectors and its many partners preferred to keep it that way. Whether that is the case or not for staying independent, it points to Comptel as a solid choice for a company such as Nokia looking to strengthen its partner-relationship suitability. The future for Nokia’s CSP customers will be built around ecosystems, so the ability to partner is important. Comptel has proven this ability in spades.
Stratecast believes Nokia has also chosen wisely for achieving its stated goal of advancing a catalogue-driven service orchestration and fulfillment strategy. There are only a handful of independent software suppliers with deep competency in product catalogs and the ability to tie the technology to next-generation orchestration and fulfillment. Comptel is one. Sigma Systems comes to mind along with Amdocs, Ericsson, and Netcracker.
Given Comptel’s mediation capabilities, it also fits Nokia’s goals around intelligent data processing, customer engagement, and agile service monetization. Stratecast believes monetization is one of Comptel’s greatest assets for filling the holes in Nokia’s portfolio.
On the network side of the business, Nokia already has strong assets and market share around service assurance, thanks in large part to the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition that finally closed in November last year. However, service assurance is changing, and with CSP operations increasingly becoming data dependent, assurance must be more tightly connected with other aspects of management and orchestration. For this reason, Stratecast believes Nokia was likely looking at Comptel’s service orchestration vision when it selected the company to be the other half of the combined service assurance/service orchestration approach it has planned.
Comptel laid out a comprehensive vision of its “Nexterday” strategy in a twin set of books over the last two years that may have struck a chord with Nokia, given what little time Nokia probably had to formulate a software vision of its own. Nokia no doubt knew where it wanted to go and what was missing from a software perspective. But Compel already had a vision all spelled out.
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