Clarify buy offers Amdocs leverage against Siebel

Amdocs Ltd.'s acquisition of Nortel Networks Corp.'s Clarify division for approximately US$200 million positions it to compete with Siebel Systems for CRM (customer relationship management) accounts at large telecommunications vendors, one analyst claims.

"It gives them the potential to give competition to Siebel in the Tier 1 [telecommunications] marketplace," which features companies such as Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Corp., said analyst David Hawley, at The Yankee Group in Boston.

Chesterfield, Missouri-based Amdocs, which specializes in customer care, billing, and order management systems for the telecommunications industry, will acquire all of the assets of Clarify, a company Nortel acquired for its CRM products in October 1999.

News of Nortel Networks' sale of Clarify came Tuesday at the same time it announced an approximate net loss of $3.6 billion and named a new president and chief executive officer (CEO).

Nortel, which has been hard hit by a sharp downturn in the telecommunications hardware market, is divesting itself of Clarify so that it can focus on core competencies, a Nortel spokesman said.

"We're streamlining our business around three core market areas," which are optical long-haul networks, wireless networks, and metro networks, said David Chamberlin, director of global communications at Nortel, which is based in Brampton, Ontario.

Nortel on Tuesday also announced that it expects to report a quarterly loss of approximately $3.6 billion on revenues of roughly $3.5 billion. When excluding incremental provisions and other charges, the loss is reduced to $910 million for the quarter.

Meanwhile, Nortel announced that Frank A. Dunn, chief financial officer (CFO), will succeed John A. Roth as president and CEO, effective Nov. 1.

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