Iona to focus on
telecoms vertical


9 Nov 2005

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Irish software star Iona said it is expanding its capabilities to focus on market demand from the telecoms sector after winning major deals with global players. A senior executive told siliconrepublic.com that its Artix product set is enabling global telcos to deploy next-generation provisioning and billing strategies.

A spokesperson for the company explained that the company has already landed major service-oriented architecture (SOA) deals to support major enterprise platform shifts within telecom leaders such as O2, Marconi, Bell South and Beijing Mobile.

In a similar vein to when Iona’s CORBA-based middleware products enabled diverse legacy systems to communication with each other, the growing theme of consolidation and move towards fixed and mobile convergence is forcing telcos to not only make diverse systems work together but ensure they can accommodate the needs of the new generation of communications users who demand automatic provisioning and single billing.

Hakim Dhilla said that Iona’s Artix product, the company’s extensible Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), encouraged by contract gains in the telcoms sector is being expanded to accommodate emerging standards such as Parlay and multi-technology operating system interface (MTOSI).

Like its CORBA-based predecessor Orbix, Artix will be used to tie together a multitude of IT systems. “Heterogeneity is something we face everyday in our customers’ IT environments,” said Phil Healy, head of network intelligence engineering at Marconi.
“Carriers are beginning to see the value of SOA as a means to derive new value from their installed systems and applications,” Healy continued. “Existing standards such as CORBA, and emerging standards such as MTOSI and Parlay, help ensure that existing systems can drive new ways of generating revenue. Through support of these important standards, we’re confident that Iona’s Artix can help us best meet the needs of our customers as they incrementally adopt SOA in their enterprises.”

Iona said that intensified competition in the worldwide telecommunications industry is driving carriers to introduce new, revenue-enhancing services that not only support growth and retention in their customer base, but also increase average revenue per user (ARPU).

Dhilla explained that many carriers are turning to value-added services delivered via broadband or wireless or offering newly bundled services. Artix, he said, has already proven that it can support these initiatives and effectively extend existing standards such as CORBA to integrate and extend the legacy operation support systems and network management systems that have been deployed over the course of many years.

“Right now there’s a lot of talk in the industry about service delivery platforms, which consist of many different components that work and are orchestrated in such a way as to deliver telecoms services to a customer in the shortest period of time, whether it’s internet protocol (IP) TV or VoIP. Artix is built on these principles and allows carriers to start migrating their legacy systems to the new standards in a very incremental way,” Dhilla told siliconrepublic.com.

“Success for telecommunications carriers in today’s highly competitive market can be directly tied to the ability of their IT systems to support new ways of doing business and new ways of interacting with their customers,” said Sanjay Mewada, vice-president, telecom group consulting and research, Yankee Group.

“More carriers are turning to SOA as a way to introduce greater flexibility to installed systems and are looking for technologies that support both the existing and emerging standards driving the industry to help them reach their SOA goals,” Mewada said.

By John Kennedy