France's InfoVista acquires M'sian telco software firm Aexio
By Edwin Yapp October 25, 2013
- Homegrown telco software player acquired by Paris-based InfoVista; financial details not disclosed
- Deal helps it deliver quality experience to their customers; industry watcher says step in right direction
InfoVista announced the acquisition on Oct 23, a move the company said would help it gain additional innovation and foster a new generation of network optimisation solutions that leverage deep, subscriber-level insight.
With the acquisition of Aexio, InfoVista is now able to better help communication service providers (CSPs) deliver a first-class quality of experience (QoE) to their customers and empower them to cost-effectively plan, operate, optimise and monetise their network, the company said in a statement.
“We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Aexio to further improve our network planning, assurance and optimisation product portfolio’s value to the mobile market,” said Philippe Ozanian, chief executive of InfoVista.
Financial terms of the deal were however not disclosed. As of press time, Aexio was not immediately avaiable to comment.
Aexio designs and develops software that helps engineers in the CSP industry troubleshoot and optimise their networks. Founded in 2005 by two Malaysian entrepreneurs, Andre Sequerah (pic, left) and Kean Chan (pic, right), the Petaling Jaya-based company has since grown from a humble two-man operation to over 25 people today.
In 2007, Aexio received the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) pre-seed fund for software development. In 2010, government-backed venture capital fund Mavcap invested in Aexio in exchange for preferred stock.
As part of the deal, Mavcap joined the Aexio Board of Directors, with ownership of approximately 23% of the company’s shares, the company said.
“As a key investor in the Malaysian ICT scene, we recognise companies which bring in viable propositions with huge potential to go further,” said Husni Salleh, then the chief executive officer of Mavcap.
“We subscribe to Aexio’s vision and value proposition in empowering the engineers by providing cutting-edge tools for the optimisation of wireless networks, and also believe that Aexio has demonstrated enough vision and execution ability to be a world-renowned industry leader,” he added.
Aexio was also the recipient of an RM500,000 grant from Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, an agency under Malaysia's Ministry of Finance, in early 2012, which was used to help it market its products.
According to InfoVista, the deal will see Aexio’s subscriber geo-analytics features be integrated into its portfolio of network planning and service assurance products.
The companies’ combined capabilities will enable mobile operators to leverage granular, subscriber-aware network performance data including live network call traces, drive tests, network configuration and network equipment performance information, InfoVista said.
The French firm also said that Aexio’s flagship network optimisation product, Xeus PRO, would enable RF engineers to optimise mobile networks based on live network measurements.
Such functionality will be uniquely combined with the network simulation capabilities of Mentum Planet, to provide CSPs with a complete solution to ensure detected network issues can be fixed efficiently, optimally and reliably, it added.
InfoVista was founded in 1995 in France and was listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in July 2000. It was taken private by US private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo, LLC in 2011.
The acquisition of Aexio is the second one made by InfoVista, after it bought Mentum, a RAN (radio access network) and backhaul network planning and optimisation solutions provider in 2012.
Networks need more intelligence
According to a whitepaper jointly released by InfoVista and telco consultant firm Analysys Mason earlier this month, CSPs are facing an increasingly tough time managing their respective networks because of a surge in data demands, which is due to the growing utilisation of tablets and smartphones around the world.
This data capacity crunch has in turn forced CSPs to introduce new network technology, the latest of which is LTE (Long Term Evolution). The introduction of such networks continues to put a strain on CSPs as all of them struggle to manage multiple network technologies.
This pressure to do so would inevitably increase resources significantly in order to prevent poor quality network plans, inaccurate allocation of network resources and stranded capacity, argues the whitepaper.
“This whitepaper proposes that a strong optimisation automation software solution can recover as much as between 20% and 40% of stranded capacity and improve capital and operational expenditure efficiency by utilising real-time and predictive network intelligence,” the two companies said in a joint statement.
An industry insider DNA spoke to concurred generally with what the whitepaper outlined, noting that the move by InfoVista to acquire a best-in-breed network software optimisation company such as Aexio was a good one.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the observer said that with the advent of LTE and next-generation technologies such as LTE-Advanced, CSPs will be further challenged trying to manage their entire network without such capabilities as self-organising networks, automated data collection, and automatic self-healing, tuning and configuration features.
The insider noted that many larger companies such as the traditional mobile network equipment makers like Ericsson, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, NSN (formerly Nokia Siemens Networks) and ZTE are also gearing up for this wave of automated software tools to help their CSP customers manage their complex networks.
“It’s an increasingly tough [mobile] world out there, where margins for network equipment are getting thinner,” the observer opined. “Intelligent optimisation software and telco ‘big data’ analytics are the next wave for these players to master. If they don’t have this expertise, vendors would lose their differentiation [factor], as CSPs would circumvent them and go to those who can offer such tools.”
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