Yesterday, Amdocs, a leading provider of customer experience systems, agreed to acquire Bridgewater Systems, a provider of policy, subscriber management, and network control solutions for mobile and convergent service providers, for US$215 million. The combined solution resulting from this acquisition will combine Amdocs’ existing BSS/OSS and customer experience solutions with network level information from Bridgewater’s solution. The integrated organization will provide service providers with an enhanced ability to monetize data services and to support complex pricing strategies across multiple devices, users, and networks. From a customer perspective, Amdocs and Bridgewater share some key service provider customers including Bell Mobility, Sprint, and Telstra. 

This is the second major acquisition announcement the past week in the service provider BSS/OSS arena. Last week, Ericsson announced its intent to purchase Telcordia for US$1.15 billion. The announcements from Amdocs and Ericsson highlight the critical role of operations support systems/business support systems (OSS/BSS) in enabling service providers to differentiate their offerings to customers. The deal gives Amdocs a stake in the policy control market, which is increasingly important to mobile operators who seek to manage and generate revenue from the data transmitted over their networks. With the new capabilities from Bridgewater, Amdocs will encounter competition from well known firms, including Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco. In addition, Amdocs will need to educate existing and potential customers about the enhanced ability to support policy control features. The purchasing decision-makers for these policy control capabilities reside in the service provider’s network organization, while the decision-makers for billing and charging solutions work in the IT organization. To capture the value from the Bridgewater acquisition, Amdocs must broaden its relationships with network decision-makers in service provider organizations.