I’m on Klout, which purports to assess a company’s or individual’s “social capital” by the networks they belong to and the interactions they generate in those networks. You may be there, too. It’s a pretty good platform and I like the way it incorporates elements of other networks, such as importing the lists I’ve created on Twitter. Yet a new social media friend, Nate Riggs (@nateriggs), has shown how Klout can be gamed to artificially inflate one’s score. More broadly, right now Klout only lets one connect a handful of social networks (currently 12)–including some that are of marginal importance, and I can only guess are on the roster due to relationships between principals and organizations. So while there is no doubt it has some use as a social media indicator, I question its ability to fully assess and quantify one’s social capital.
In an earlier entry on service delivery platforms (SDPs) I did my best to put the spurs to service providers to crack down on systems integrators running the same horses from their stable of software steeds in every race. On the one hand, you can’t blame the SIs for doing what works. If they have a few long-running, you-wash-my-hand-and-I-wash-yours relationships and the service providers are willing to bet on whatever they bring to post, it saves them from actually auditioning new vendors to jockey for position with the usual suspects.
On the other hand, these comfy feet-in-stirrups arrangements take service providers into an entirely different realm where they continue paying more than they should for “icebergs”: Software products that look manageable on the surface but cost $5 or more in integration for every upfront software license dollar, whose integration headaches and hidden costs can sink your next B/OSS project.
As reported in Billing & OSS World by Editor in Chief Tim McElligott, NEC is acquiring NetCracker for about $300 million. And as Tim said, “Given the fate of mid-tier independent software vendors over the last three years – those at the $100 million mark or more – it was a matter of when, not if” Waltham, Mass.-based NetCracker would be acquired. Another great friend and colleague in this business, Elisabeth Rainge, program director of network software at IDC, accurately assessed the deal as having far more to do with the alliance between Alcatel-Lucent and the Cramer division of Amdocs or ALU’s acquisition of Motive than it does the acquisitions of similarly sized competitors such as Granite Systems by Telcordia, MetaSolv by Oracle or Syndesis by Subex.
Absolutely. This deal is another example of a company that has made its mark mainly through equipment and services acquiring a B/OSS leader to stop missing out on major network equipment contracts because it brings no OSS to the table.