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January 22, 2006

IBM chooses Cramer for inventory management

Operations support systems software developer Cramer Systems Ltd has announced that IBM Corp has chosen its Enterprise Inventory Management product for integration into the Service Delivery Platform for Triple-Play it plans to offer into the telecoms industry.

By CBR Staff Writer

Inventory is very much Cramer’s strong suit, and what it is known for. In a report last year industry analysts at Stratocast ranked it number-one by license revenue among third-party ISVs in the space.

Cramer’s newly appointed CEO Guy Dubois acknowledged that the vast majority of the $20bn annual telco spend on OSS systems and services still goes on in-house development, so as much as the company seeks to differentiate itself from competitors such as Telcordia, Metasolv and NetCracker, its primary challenge remains to convince carriers to go outside their own organizations for their OSS requirements.

Beyond inventory, London, UK-based Cramer also has offerings in planning and provisioning, its intention being to extend its portfolio further with the next major release of its platform, scheduled to take place during the first half of this year. OSS falls into two broad categories, Dubois said. There is assurance, which comprises fault detection, performance and service level agreement monitoring, which is the side we’re not involved in. Then there is planning and service fulfillment, which comprises planning, provisioning, inventory, service catalog, and activation, of which we currently do the first three, with the other two coming in the next release.

Aside from service catalog and activation, Dubois said Cramer will also be adding what he considers to be unique capabilities to the platform including a module for the management of class of service. This is a growing requirement as carriers migrate to next-generation networks.

The technical underpinning for the next release, which will also see a re-branding exercise to position it as an end-to-end planning and service fulfillment offering, has taken place over the last two years, during which time the company has rewritten the product as a fully J2EE-compliant platform for service oriented architectures, with support for app servers including IBM’s WebSphere. The plan with the re-branding will be to characterize the product as a no-touch platform for service provisioning to activation, Dubois said.

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