Lucent Buys INS for Convergence Expertise, Monitoring Software

Numbers recently released by Lucent Technologies Inc. (www.lucent.com) indicate that the services and support market for communications networks is estimated to be growing at more than 16 percent annually, from $96 billion in 1999 to an expected $153 billion in 2002.

Targeting that growth, Lucent purchased network services and software company International Network Services Inc. (INS, www.ins.com), and plans to integrate it into its NetCare division.

"Lucent is focused on the fastest growing markets in communications networking," said Rich McGinn, Lucent Technologies chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Professional services and support is clearly one of them. Together, Lucent and INS will offer network planning, design, integration, maintenance and management solutions."

Founded in 1991, INS consults with large-scale clients that have complex, multivendor data networks. Lucent expects INS to expand the NetCare offerings with IP integration as well.

"In today’s market, voice and data sides are converging. There are a lot of promises being made, and some products that follow, so most customers are looking for multivendors solutions. That’s what we’ll offer," says Jeff Kaplan, director of strategic marketing at INS.

Through its INSoft division, INS offers software solutions for managing and optimizing distributed applications on networks. INSoft also will become part of Lucent's NetCare organization.

Kaplan says that the VitalSuite software package INS recently acquired from Vital Signs will have two roles in the NetCare unit. First, Lucent will use it to deliver application layer performance monitoring services. Lucent’s current offerings only drill down as far as the network layer. Second, Lucent will sell the suite, as well as INS’ Enterprise Pro network performance management software, as stand-alone products.

Lucent’s NetCare Professional Services network lifecycle support services include customer training and certification, professional consulting, design, engineering and integration, maintenance and network management services for voice, data and video networks.

INS brings a significant customer base to Lucent, including AT&T (www.att.com), MCI WorldCom Inc. (www.wcom.com), Cisco Systems Inc., Sprint Communications Co. (www.sprint.com) and Compaq Computer Corp. INS is also a partner helping Microsoft migrate its infrastructure to Windows 2000 beta 3.

Under terms of the agreement, the merger is valued at about $3.7 billion. The union is expected to be completed during the first quarter of Lucent's fiscal 2000, which ends Dec. 31, 1999.

In its purchase of INS, Lucent acquired VitalSuite, software for application performance monitoring. Lucent plans to use it in some of its services and offer it as a stand alone product.