Oracle offers $219 million for MetaSolv

Oracle has offered to buy operations support software developer MetaSolv for $219.2 million

Oracle has offered to buy MetaSolv, a developer of operations support software for telecommunications service providers, for US$219.2 million in cash, the companies said Monday.

MetaSolv's software manages the provisioning of VOIP (voice over Internet Protocol), IPTV (IP television), VPNs (virtual private networks) and other voice and data telecommunications services. The acquisition will allow Oracle to help telecommunications operators speed the deployment of services to customers.

Oracle will incorporate MetaSolv into its Communications Global Business Unit, and will retain members of the existing MetaSolv management team to lead that division, it said.

The acquisition will allow Oracle to extend the range of software it offers telecommunications operators. Oracle showed its commitment to the telecommunications industry in April, when it announced plans to take over billing and revenue management software company Portal Software Inc. for US$220 million.

Shortly after, it said it would build a service delivery platform (SDP) to help network operators build services for their business customers. Last month, it announced an important element of that platform, a public branch exchange application called Virtual PBX that operators use to deliver service to businesses of all sizes.

Oracle's move into the operations support software business came as no surprise to analyst Danny Dicks of Analysys Mason Group.

"We predicted back in May that Oracle would be likely to buy a company in the area that MetaSolv specializes in," he said.

Back then, Analysys noted that in addition to operations support software, Oracle will also need tools for revenue assurance and fraud management to complete its offering for telecommunications operators.

MetaSolv's competitors include Telcordia Technologies, which has partnered with consulting and systems integration companies including Capgemini and IBM. to take its products to telecommunications operators, and Syndesis, which has taken a different route to market, partnering with equipment manufacturer Alcatel.

Oracle's rival SAP AG also offers a software suite for telecommunications operators, including billing and customer relationship management tools.

MetaSolv expects the deal to close late this year or early next subject to approval from shareholders and regulators.

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