Acision comes out fighting

With the demerger of LogicaCMG’s telco division closed down, Acision sailed from the mothership this week with $500m a year in revenues from the cash cow SMSC business, which CTO David King hopes has some way to grow.

The interesting stuff is in the technology Acision is investing heavily in mobile advertising, platforms, and new methods of providing the infrastructure for its software to run on. “Straight SMS continues to grow,” said King, “but we’ve got to look seriously at the price points.”

That means moving off specialised hardware and making more use of virtualisation.

“We’ve taken a lot of our platforms onto Linux already,” he said. “Virtualisation helps us in a number of ways, one area where we already see demand is hosted services, whether hosted by us or within operator networks.”

Service oriented architecture (SOA) tends to empower hosted or managed services and raises the question as to whether the Logica everyone knows is turning into a small version of IBM Global Services.

“We will never be an everything-for-everyone global services and SI organisation – that’s what LogicaCMG is now,” King said. “We’re focusing on the core. We won’t do radio networks, nor back-office IT automation.” Instead, King said, it’s all about messaging of one kind or another and trying to get a developer ecosystem going.

Some of the gateways, King told, have already been placed in open source and Acision developers are contributing to several open source projects, notably Apache.

“It’s the ecosystem that builds applications on top of our platforms that we want,” said King. To achieve this, the company is planning standard APIs for web services and other middleware across its product line.

“Essentially it is, but we probably wouldn’t call it an SDP,” King said when asked if there were any plans for a service delivery platform. The next target for Acision is the combination of its advertising system with the customer intelligence products it originally developed as network-management products.

“If you can match it to the user demographics, you can get a business model from this huge volume of SMS,” he said.

King claims that the system can collate and present market data within five minutes to one hour. “Eventually, advertising will be more like a script than a billboard,” he said.


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