Monday, January 02, 2006

Companies in Transformation

Wireless Week has a lengthy examination of companies that are in transformation, such as Openwave Systems and Comverse Technology. The article writes that Openwave "is shifting its strategic focus to wireless and broadband carriers and away from handset manufacturers."

A recent Lehman Brothers research note wrote "We believe this strategy is not likely to please the handset vendor community as it would reduce the OEMs' ability to differentiate their own products." But it notes that Openwave had only "modest" success in getting OEMs to use its v7 browser.

Yankee Group analyst Joseph Levine commented on Comverse recent acquisitions. He said, "The combination of Comverse's real-time billing offering and the Kenan FX suite of products will be a formidable solution for carriers seeking convergent prepaid and postpaid billing." Levine expects "more mergers and acquisitions in the billing industry and mentions both Comverse and competitor Amdocs as companies with the cash to do the acquiring."

according to the article, "one of Comverse's latest products is what it calls InSight Open Services Environment, which it has started selling to operators as an IP-based architecture for deployment of communications and content services. It includes messaging, video, content, call management, personalization and voice applications."

Lehman noted "about 15 percent of Comverse's current customers, or about 55 carriers, have started to upgrade to InSight, with early interest in using the platform for video, video voicemail and mobile IM. More than two-thirds of Comverse's core network services business in the third quarter came from next-generation messaging."