Oracle Plotting Full-Court Press To Court Telecom Carriers


Telecommunication service providers have deep pockets, and Oracle is positioning itself as a strategic supplier of the software these firms use to serve their millions of customers.

Oracle's $2.1 billion acquisition last month of Acme Packet, a major player in the market for carrier-grade session border control technology, was just one of many moves it's making to address carriers' needs, CEO Larry Ellison said in a Q&A during the vendor's third quarter earnings call Wednesday.

"You're going to see us, through our own engineering, through innovation and acquisitions, greatly broaden our footprint as our ambition is to be the primary technology provider to the telecommunications industry," Ellison said in the Q&A, according to Seeking Alpha's transcript of the event.

[Related: Oracle Acquires SBC Vendor Acme Packet For $2.1 Billion]

Oracle President Mark Hurd described Acme Packet as a "fantastic acquisition" that stands to help the vendor generate more revenue in the telecommunications market.

"Phone companies have two networks, or two sets of IT systems, those that manage the business, and those that manage the network. And this was an opportunity for us to get into that network side of the business [and] open up an entirely new opportunity for us strategically inside the phone companies," Hurd said in the Q&A.

Founded in 2000, Acme Packet in November 2012 held a 40 percent share of carrier-grade SBC market, according to Infonetics Research. Cisco overtook Acme Packet last year for the top spot in the enterprise SBC market, which Infonetics expects to be a $430 million market by 2016.

Acme Packet's products are currently used by some 1,900 enterprise and service provider customers, and Oracle plans to make them a core part of its Oracle Communications portfolio.

If Oracle's quest to attract service providers succeeds, Ellison said it will use a similar approach to court customers in the retail and financial services segments.

"We have a very, very significant presence in billing systems, in provisioning systems, in the telco space," Ellison said during the call. "And what we’d like to become is one of the most strategic suppliers to telcos overall, which involves broadening our footprint of what we supply them."

PUBLISHED MARCH 21, 2013