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NetCracker takes NExT step at France Telecom

Date: 12/20/2007 1:30:23 AM

For NetCracker, getting a software contract from a company the size of France Telecom is one thing. Getting certified two years later as the corporate de facto standard is another

France Telecom launched its New Experience in Telecom services (NExT) transformation initiative in the summer of 2005. That fall, NetCracker Technologies won the bid to provide resource management and other software solutions. However, that doesn’t mean they won the business. Only recently did NetCracker become certified as the de facto standard for all of France Telecom’s 136 properties and 145 million customers.

The difference between being awarded the bid and becoming certified in France Telecom’s network is the difference between getting to Tour de France and actually winning it. France Telecom has become NetCracker’s largest deployment—rivaled potentially by the deal NetCracker signed this week with Mobilnye TeleSistemy, the largest mobile operator in Russia.

France Telecom didn’t formally announce NetCracker as a software supplier at the time, but now, the international carrier has certified the company as the Next Generation Inventory (NGI) Group Core Component (GCC) standard for its NExT program. That makes NetCracker the provider of inventory solutions across the entire France Telecom group of 136 companies.

NetCracker also announced it has successfully implemented its WiFi hotspots inventory, FTTH inventory, and VoIP services inventory for Orange in France, as well as transmission network inventory and an ADSL inventory solution in emerging market affiliates of France Telecom group.

“This was different from your traditional vendor selection it was very comprehensive,” said Sanjay Mewada, vice president of strategy for NetCracker. “It wasn’t like a typical vendor selection for a single carrier. They were looking to select a platform that could be applicable across all their properties. And those are all kinds of providers like mobile, converged, traditional, big and small. The solutions had to scale both ways.”

During the selection process, vendors had to apply their solutions to 478 test cases and scenarios across fixed, mobile, core, IT and radio technologies for variously sized operating companies. Having done that and been selected in November 2006 as the official NGI supplier for France Telecom’s NExT program, NetCracker had to prove itself in the field before being certified for other properties.

The selection process had been determined by performance in France Telecom’s lab. “The second part was implementing the platform across a number of different properties, and it came down to if, indeed, what held up in the lab held up in real life, then we would get that certification as the default platform across all 136 properties,” Mewada said.

NetCracker has so far been implemented in about one dozen France Telecom properties in Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America.

This week, NetCracker became certified for all France Telecom properties for its NetCracker Framework (which includes a unified data model with template libraries, a process automation and workflow engine, a unified security system, a reporting environment, advanced administration and management tools, and a configurable, webbased user interface), physical and logical resource inventory, service inventory and discovery and reconciliation modules.

For operating companies under the France Telecom umbrella requiring solutions for outside plant, asset management and telecom cost management, the operator certified NetCracker’s solutions as optional.

The MTS deployment has been completed in Moscow and the Central Russian Region. There NetCracker will optimize infrastructure and inventory management processes and establish a central information source for the planning, design and management of the MTS network. MTS will use NetCracker’s Resource Inventory, Outside Plant, Service Provisioning, and Discovery & Reconciliation product modules. MTS is planning to complete the rollout of the NetCracker solution to the rest of the regions inside Russia by the end of the second quarter in 2008.

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