|The only publication dedicated to OSS Volume 1, Issue 4 - August 2004|
This month, Pipeline sat down with Andrew Feinberg, President and CEO of NetCracker Technology Corp. to discuss the company’s ongoing success, business philosophy, solution delivery approach and active corporate expansion. Pipeline also asked Feinberg to explain why NetCracker has largely flown under the radar, and to respond to those in the industry who criticize its flexible solution approach. It appears that NetCracker has taken a significant step forward as the time and energy it has spent developing key customer relationships has paid off in financial stability, ongoing customer wins and possibly the fastest growth of any provider in the OSS sector.
Pipeline: When you have 30 seconds or less to explain how NetCracker is truly different from its chief competitors, how do you respond?
Feinberg: NetCracker provides a broader solution to our customers. We're moving from a traditional definition of inventory to a broader concept that includes asset management, ordering, and telecom cost management—a more comprehensive solution. Our customers have embraced the idea and responded very well to that offering as it is consistent with how they run their businesses. We also have a very strong solution delivery organization. We take responsibility for implementing our solution and our customers hold us accountable for that delivery. This gives us more control in insuring success in the delivery of our application.
Over the years we've seen multiple parties involved in OSS delivery – vendors and systems integrators – and what happens is that everyone points fingers at everyone else and a few years down the road there's little to show and no real ROI. So we take and deliver a broader piece of the OSS pie. We put our money where our mouth is, and our customers have one neck to choke in terms of accountability. We are most comfortable operating that way. We are not a software vendor or integrator, and we definitely work with both of these. We are a “solutions” provider with some powerful productized software, best practices, expertise and talent able to work with customers closely, understand their problems, consult with them, and make them more competitive.. This is the only way it can work --there is no such a thing as a well-defined, cookie cutter OSS solution that will work in every environment the same way.
Large carriers have realized that many of the OSS components they've been exposed to aren't necessarily solutions that will make them more efficient. Clearly, integration has to be minimized as much as possible to enable carriers to implement solutions and realize ROI faster. What large telcos want is a comprehensive solution vendor that will sign on the line and deliver what they need. We've seen too many players globally over-promise and under-deliver.
Pipeline: Why is NetCracker not always recognized for its actual success and staying power? What evidence can you offer that can change this possible misperception?
Feinberg: We are less concerned with PR buzz and marketing gimmicks and realize these aren't really the path to success here. But, look at our Tier 1 customers around the world – TeliaSonera, Telstra, Covad, SwissCom, MGTS, Time Warner Telecom – this is just to name a few. The business we've earned with these customers represents some of the most significant OSS transactions to take pace over the last few years. There's a reason why they've come to us. Many of these customers are already in production, and in less than a year are seeing the benefits of working with NetCracker.
NetCracker has been in business for more than 10 yeas and has grown to approximately 300 people. We are hiring more than a person a day at this point. Our strategy has been very simple – to become the solution provider to service providers. It was very early on that we recognized there were no short cuts in this industry. It takes a long time to build a reputation and strong customer base. We have invested the dollars we have into product and solution development and delivery and in building the best team in the industry to make us successful. Instead of investing irresponsibly in marketing gimmicks, we continue to invest in our customers and long term partnerships with these customers.
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