Core Plans Operational-Support Upgrade

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Core Networks Inc. will move its main headquarters to the San Francisco Bay area and expand its line of operational support-system products to target larger MSOs and more complex OSS needs, said recently named president and CEO Craig Soderquist.

Soderquist, a veteran of General Instrument Corp., VSLI and Com21 Inc., took the reins at Core this summer, and wants to expand its service offerings to cable operators.

"The industry needs carrier-class software solutions, [and] we need to take it up a notch," he said.

Core built its reputation delivering OSS systems for small and mid-sized cable operators, starting in Canada four years ago. The company will keep its engineering team in its current headquarters in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while moving its main staff to Northern California over the next two months, Soderquist said.

"Core OS was designed for small- and middle-tier cable operators," Soderquist said. The vendor counts Cox Communications Inc., Adelphia Communications Corp., Liberty Media Corp. and Seren Innovations Inc. among its clients.

Over the next six months, Core's big push will be to sell specific "point solutions" to MSOs, Soderquist said. Those could include firmware update-manager software, network monitoring systems and Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification 1.1 upgrade systems.

Over the next year, Soderquist hopes to tie all of those elements together in a new Core OS release that will serve as a carrier-class OSS solution.

Most MSOs will start deploying DOCSIS 1.1 modems this fall, and they'll need software to offer advances services and monitoring, said Soderquist.

To fill that need, Core is designing a network-discovery tool to reconcile the services that have been provisioned with the products a customer is billed for. In some cases, subscribers have been known to receive modem service, but aren't properly billed for it, he said.

Software systems don't exist to prevent that from happening, he said. "Today, everything is entered manually."

Soderquist said Core is also close to a third round of funding, which will likely fall in the $7 million to $10 million range. Core has already raised $13 million in its first two funding rounds.

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