Fair weather ahead for Open Cloud as it sells to Spain and Japan

Local developer does overseas deals

It’s taken three years, but Wellington developer Open Cloud is finally making in-roads into both the Spanish and Japanese markets with its flagship mobile services product, Rhino.

Rhino, which helps integrate new services into telcos’ networks, has been taken up by Vodafone Spain and NTT Data in Japan.

The Japanese order came in just before the Supercomm 2005 conference, held in Chicago in June. This provided a useful showcase for Rhino, courtesy of NTT Data, says Open Cloud’s chief financial officer, Lorraine Witten.

Witten outlined Rhino’s successes at a recent Wireless Data Forum conference, held in conjunction with Positively Wellington Business. Witten says Open Cloud’s overseas resellers played a big part in securing the contracts. Lucent Worldwide Services helped secure the Vodafone contract, while Sun Microsystems helped secure the NTT Data contract.

Telcos deploying new network services face problems integrating them with their existing networks. One option is to run two separate stacks of software over the network to deploy and control the new and the existing services. Alternatively, the telco can duplicate the existing services on a new network and slowly migrate users across to it.

Rhino provides a central point of control when it comes to deploying new services on the existing network, and also in painlessly migrating users across to the new network when the time comes to do so, says Witten. Open Cloud’s pricing model is structured to allow easy entry, with clients being charged according to the volume of services deployed through Rhino.

“Initially, NTT and Vodafone Spain will have only small volumes of traffic using the new services, so the sales are worth only about $500,000 each,” says Witten. But, clearly, there is considerable growth potential.

Vodafone is using Rhino for a new service which involves customers paying after using services rather than before. Rhino will also, eventually, have a role in handling all post-paid services. NTT Data is building a trading system for shares which will run on Rhino.

Rhino is based on the Java API for Integrated Networks (JAIN) and the JAIN SLEE (Service Logic Execution Environment) standard, which Open Cloud helped to develop.

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