TheMarker.com, January 16, 2003
XaCCT bags big Boeing contract for fast Internet on jets
|Israeli technology company XaCCT Technologies, a provider of network data management solutions for service providers, beat American giant Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HWQ) to a fat contract from Boeing (NYSE:BA).
The tender, estimated to be worth several million dollars, is for XaCCT to supply its network-to-business (N2B) software platform. The software creates bi-directional links between the provider's network and the back-office business and operation support systems.
XaCCT president and CEO Eric Gries said the N2B platform will manage Boeing's billing for broadband services, known as Connexion by Boeing.
The Connexion services include Internet access, electronic mail and secured access to internal systems.
Boeing had recognized an opportunity to supply fast Internet services in business class seats on commercial flights, Gries explained.
Ten airlines have joined the Boeing project so far, including Lufthansa, which will launch its Internet service in the next few days, and British Airways, which will start its service next month.
Japan Airlines says it will offer Connexion by Boeing on 10 of its Asian planes used for long-haul flights, while Scandinavian Airlines has made a similar announcement.
Gries reported that the contract involves the installation of XaCCT's N2B platform on several Boeing aircraft over a two-year period. Though he refused to expound on the value of the deal, he did say that part of the fees for the software acquisition had already been paid to the company.
"In addition to the software payments, each time an airline charges one of its clients for use of the service, 1% of the sum will be paid to XaCCT," he added.
This is the third tender XaCCT has snatched from HP since October 2002. In November 2002, XaCCT won the contract to supply services on Optus' mobile network in Australia. The month before, XaCCT got the deal to supply the American company Sprint PCS (NYSE:PCS).
Gries recently said that XaCCT expects to turn cash flow positive in the last quarter of 2002, and to be profitable from the first quarter of 2003. Its investors include Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq:SUNW), Dell Computer Corporation (Nasdaq:DELL), Deutsche Bank and venture capital funds.