EXFO buys Ontology Systems for real-time network topology discovery and service-chain mapping

Mar 2 2017

EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO) (TSX: EXF) says it has acquired privately held UK-based Ontology Systems for $7.6 million, net of cash. The new acquisition strengthens EXFO's hand in real-time network topology discovery and service-chain mapping, particularly in hybrid physical/virtual networks as operators roll out software-defined networking and network functions virtualization (SDN/NFV).

The deployment of SDN/NFV has created a need for an automated network inventory engine fully integrated with probing agents to accelerate fault discovery, root-cause analysis, and eventually closed-loop automation in hybrid physical-virtual environments, EXFO says. Ontology Systems has expertise in mapping complex, cross-domain, multi-layer network topologies; paired with EXFO's end-to-end service assurance and real-time 3D analytics offerings, this expertise will enable the ability to provide a comprehensive view across physical, virtual, and hybrid networks, EXFO believes.

"This strategic acquisition uniquely positions EXFO with agile, real-time visualization and troubleshooting solutions that enable communications service providers (CSPs) to manage their networks more efficiently and ensure heightened quality of experience and scalability for next-generation networks, which will be hybrid in nature for many years to come," explained Germain Lamonde, EXFO's founder, chairman, and CEO.

"Combining EXFO's physical and virtual probes and real-time analytics solution with Ontology Systems' unique mapping methodology delivers an unmatched value proposition for monitoring and managing next-generation networks," Lamonde added. "Based on early discussions with CSPs, this new offering is resonating very strongly with them, since they are striving to improve customer experience while becoming more agile and cost-efficient."

Ontology Systems generated approximately $4.0 million in revenue during the last 12 months, says EXFO, including sales to Tier 1 CSPs. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to EXFO's adjusted EBITDA in fiscal 2017 and accretive after that.