India's SRIT to buy Agilent telecom support business

Indian services company SRIT has agreed to buy the telecom support systems business of Agilent Technologies

An Indian services company has agreed to buy Objective Systems Integrators, the telecom support systems business of Agilent Technologies.

The proposed acquisition by Sobha Renaissance Information Technology (SRIT) is part of a growing trend by Indian technology companies to acquire product and service businesses abroad, both for market access and to offer a broader selection of products to their customers.

SRIT, of Bangalore, is focused on the telecoms, healthcare, and enterprise systems markets. It plans to expand its portfolio for each sector, going beyond system integration services to include products as well, N.J. Joseph, the company's director of marketing and sales, said on Wednesday. Last year SRIT acquired Billing Components, a German telecom support systems company.

The Indian market for telecom services is booming, with many service providers expanding their networks. SRIT expects the Indian market to account for about 25 percent of its telecom sector revenue by 2010.

It did not disclose the cost of its latest acquisition, which it expects to close by June.

Other Indian companies are also making acquisitions abroad. Outsourcer Wipro has made several in the U.S. and Europe, including Portugal's Enabler Informatica SA, which provides services for the retail business. Subex Systems, a telecom software company in Bangalore, merged last year with Azure Solutions Ltd., a telecoms revenue-assurance company in the U.K., to form Subex Azure. Subex Azure then acquired Syndesis, a Canadian company specialized in telecom service fulfillment software.

SRIT will make Objective Systems Integrators an independent subsidiary, with headquarters in San Francisco, in line with a strategy it adopted with Billing Components. "We want these companies to run as independent operations focused on their products business," Joseph said. The approach also gives SRIT the option to list the subsidiaries on stock exchanges, he said.

Objective Systems Integrators has 92 customers for its Netexpert suite of products, including top-tier telecom service providers, and has a 12 percent share of the worldwide market for telecom operations support systems (OSS), Joseph said. Agilent decided to sell the division to focus on its test and measurement business, Joseph said.

Agilent was not immediately available for comment. The company acquired Objective Systems Integrators, a public company with headquarters in Folsom, California, in 2001. The combination was intended to create a strong provider in the OSS software market, Agilent said at the time.

SRIT is a privately held company with about 1,500 staff and 250 customers. It gets 94 percent of its revenue from abroad, with the balance from India.

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