Software central to C-COR/nCUBE pact
C-COR Inc. became a top player in the video-on-demand game after striking an $89.5 million deal to acquire closely-held nCUBE Corp.
The acquisition automatically positions C-COR as one of cable's "Big Three" suppliers of on-demand servers and software, joining the ranks of SeaChange International and Concurrent Computer Corp. The C-COR/nCUBE deal is expected to close in the second quarter of C-COR's 2005 fiscal year.
With nCUBE in the picture, C-COR will find itself with VOD relationships with several major MSOs, including Adelphia Communications, Bresnan Communications, Charter Communications, Mediacom Communications, Shaw Cablesystems and Time Warner Cable.
C-COR said it expects the acquisition to add roughly $50 million in net sales in the 12 months following the closing.
C-COR expects to fold nCUBE's VOD and ad insertion company into its software business unit. nCUBE President and CEO Michael Pohl will stay on to become president of the unit, and operate it out of Beaverton, Ore.
C-COR's focus on nCUBE's software portfolio has opened up speculation that it will eventually phase out nCUBE's server/hardware business. But C-COR isn't saying when that might happen.
"We will continue to support [nCUBE's hardware] product line," says Ken Wright, C-COR's chief technology officer.
Still, nCUBE's nABLE backoffice package "is a very strategic fit with what we do in the OSS cable space," he adds. "nCUBE has developments going on for a next-generation hardware platform for on-demand. They're well down that road. We're not going to just shut that off and walk away from the hardware."
C-COR, Wright adds, will also continue to support nCUBE's ad insertion business because it provides a diversification of customers and another revenue stream.
On the VOD front, C-COR will continue the work nCUBE has done in hammering out interops with other server vendors. To date, nCUBE has announced integrations of nABLE with servers from Kasenna Inc. and MidStream Technologies.
That strategy will place C-COR in direct competition with N2 Broadband, a VOD backoffice supplier and system integration specialist based in Atlanta, Ga.
nCUBE marks C-COR's fifth acquisition in this year alone. In 2004, the State College, Pa.-based company has snapped up Alopa Networks, a provisioning and OSS specialist; Stargus Inc., a network management software company; and two IP transport firms: Lantern Communications and Optinel Systems.
In the coming months, industry observes will be sure to keep a close eye on how well the two companies—C-COR, a straight-laced public company, and nCUBE, historically a swashbuckling private company—will mesh on the cultural level.