Kontron has purchased open source software company Inocybe Technologies, as it aims to strengthen its NFV and SDN offerings for service providers and expand its IT network operator customer base.
Inocybe CEO John Zannos will continue the role as general manager of Inocybe in Kontron, with full responsibility for the Inocybe business and its resources. Inocybe Founder Mathieu Lemay, meanwhile, will take on the role of chief strategy officer, providing oversight on the technology, solutions and products strategy for the entire Kontron Communications market, to ensure a coherent go-to-market plan.
The deal was completed on Monday and officially announced Wednesday morning, but financial terms will not be disclosed until Kontron AG’s parent company releases its quarterly financial results on Friday. While specific deal terms were not announced, the total consideration for the transaction is in the order of $5 million to $10 million, Zannos said in emailed responses to CED.
Zannos told CED that Inocybe’s capabilities and products provide an “ideal complementary fit” to Kontron’s communications market strategy.
That strategy is “to offer innovative hardware platforms and integrate industry-leading software platforms on top and to enable network operators to rapidly deploy new services while preserving the ability to disaggregate the solution,” Zannos said.
Kontron’s Symkloud portfolio features a range of rack-level converged hardware platforms, along with white box solutions that will be integrated with Inocybe software and benefit from its OpenDaylight SDN controller expertise. The acquisition bolsters Kontron’s NFV/SDN and Cloud Native strategies, according to Zannos, and will help the company expand its customer base into enterprises, the Internet of Things and smart cities, among others.
“This acquisition is about making sure we can deliver on the customer experience because one of the challenges with disaggregation is how you re-aggregate to have the right level of quality of service,” Zannos said in an emailed response. “We have seen it with some of the software stacks with hardware appliances—there are always technology challenges. What is exciting about this deal for us is that it allows us to have some level of control over the experience, but not lock people into the different pieces of the stack—it’s still disaggregated, still open, but we know it works together.”
“The go-to-market opportunities are enormous,” said Robert Courteau, general manager of Kontron’s communications business, in a statement. “The open source software on open hardware strategy is rapidly gaining adoption among a broad base of service providers and private cloud operators – for both compute and networking. With Inocybe, we can now cater to both scenarios. We are certainly excited about how this will unlock our customers’ potential to freely choose what, when and how they deploy new and revenue-rich services.”
Inocybe and Kontron have partnered since 2017 to bring integrated ‘out-of-the-box’ Open Networking platforms to service providers and Zannos said efforts to combine the two teams will start immediately. First beginning with back-office operations and then on to front office, with a joint go-to-market strategy for customers. Product teams themselves will likely continue to operate independently for the foreseeable future.
In the near future Kontron is looking to create a common branding plan that can differentiate Kontron’s communications market presence from the rest of the company, Zannos said, but in the meantime there will be no changes in terms of branding.