Amdocs, an erstwhile CRM stalwart that has increasingly transformed itself into an end-to-end provider of communications industry software, has filled in missing functionality with a new acquisition.
The company has signed an agreement to acquire Cramer Systems Group, a provider of operations support systems (OSS) applications. Under the terms of the agreement, Amdocs will acquire all of Cramer’s shares of capital stock for approximately US$375 million in cash, net of cash on hand, subject to post-closing adjustments. Cramer has more than 80 customers worldwide.
The acquisition will provide a key piece of technology that Amdocs will use to offer a more complete self-service CRM product to telecom customers, according to Mike Couture, vice president of Solutions Marketing for Amdocs.
“What Cramer provides is a suite for operational support,” he explained to CRM Buyer. Typically a self-service system is able to take an order for new service, such as a bundled product of telecom offerings. “That order, though, has to go through a number of back office steps before it can be processed. It can be very complex setting up the order management processes for even a simple bundle.”
Cramer allows service providers to manage the processes of introducing and fulfilling services.
Invest in Integration
Once the acquisition is complete, Amdocs will begin offering telecom companies these related services. Cramer will form a new division within Amdocs, heading the company’s OSS strategy and activities. Its current management will continue to lead the business.
Couture said that eventually Amdocs will integrate Cramer’s technology into its overall suite, although he declined to give a date. Cramer and Amdocs have been servicing some of Amdocs’ clients through a joint venture for some time, he added, “so there is some level of integration already between the two systems.”
Growth by Acquisition
Amdocs has been pursuing its strategy of developing deep communications industry functionality for the last few years, making one-off investments in discrete technology every year or so. A few months ago, it acquired Qpass, which provides support systems for digital content such as ringtones. A year ago, it acquired a cable billing company called DST Innovis.
“With a quality company like Cramer, Amdocs expects to be well positioned to capitalize on the growth opportunity that OSS represents,” said Dov Baharav, chief executive officer of Amdocs Management Limited. “Together, we intend to deliver a complete automated service fulfillment solution across all lines of business — for any service, on any network — linking order management at the customer layer with activation at the network layer.”