Aran Technologies, a Dublin-based software firm in which SmartForce founder Bill McCabe is an investor, has clinched a major deal with Vodafone Ireland.
The value of the contract – its first with a major mobile operator – was not disclosed but is understood to be in the region of €1m.
Vodafone is to use Aran’s flagship product, Aran Assure, to monitor the network performance as experienced by Vodafone subscribers to mobile data services. Although data accounts for a growing proportion of network operators’ revenue, to date there have been no sophisticated tools available to them to measure the all-important quality of service aspect – something they have been doing for years with regard to voice traffic.
Tom Morrisroe, business development director at Aran, described Aran Assure as a network operational support solution that collects information about network performance and feeds it back to the operator. The company uses the term ‘customer experience management’ to describe the function of the product.
One of the big technical challenges, he said, is being able to distinguish the important ‘customer affecting’ information from the great mass of data captured by the software.
The high-powered data-crunching capability of the system places high demands on hardware and network operators would need to invest in significant additional server capacity to run the software.
Morrisroe added that Aran was in discussions with several other network operators including Vodafone group itself and expected to sign another deal, or possibly two, by the end of March.
Aran was founded in late-1999 by CEO Brendan McDonagh, former general manager of Ericsson Ireland’s radio network division, and Morrisroe, a qualified engineer who ran a number of businesses in Australia for several years before returning to Ireland in 1999. As well as these two principal investors and Bill McCabe, Ericsson holds a 15pc share in the company and venture capital firm Cross Atlantic Capital Partners also owns a stake following an investment of US$8m in 2001.
By Brian Skelly