Newly combined Sandvine to focus on AI, closed-loop network automation

As a new Sandvine emerges following the combination of the company with Procera Networks, its focus is on enabling AI and automation for network visibility and control — and Sandvine plans to pursue very specific use cases that offer value to operators.

Cam Cullen, VP of marketing at the new Sandvine, said that with Sandvine’s new scale, the company plans to take the strengths of both companies and “push into the network intelligence space, and bring automation by integrating things like AI and machine learning to do a closed-loop offering for operators, to solve some very specific issues in traffic management, policy and charging, and managing congestion and network quality, as well as things like allowing them … to cope with the 5G and [internet of things]upgrades that are coming their way.”

Private equity firm Francisco Partners, owner of Procera, had been in negotiations for acquisition of Sandvine for some time, ultimately making a deal to acquire the Waterloo, Ontario-based network intelligence company for about $456 million. The transaction officially closed just weeks ago, resulting in a business that reaches more than 200 tier one service providers and more than half of the top 20 mobile operators. Lyndon Cantor, CEO of Procera (and former president at Tektronix), has taken the helm at Sandvine as president and CEO of the combined company.

Cullen said that the merged company’s increased scale, diversity in its global engineering team, and a lack of overlap in the Procera and Sandvine customer bases will allow it to push forward with new solutions that take advantage of both companies’ work in machine learning and analytics to developed “closed loop” solutions that automate network actions. He said that the company also plans to continue support for both Sandvine and Procera offerings while developing a “long-term architecture that takes the best of both companies” and bridges the two product portfolios so that they can talk to each other and be mixed and matched. The industry move toward virtualization makes this shift easier, Cullen noted: replacing a virtualized network function with another virtualized network function is a “far less painful [transition]than you’ve seen in the past, when hardware and depreciation are involved. The move to virtualization, 5G and IoT is going to make this a much more seamless transition that you’ve seen in past cases of acquisitions like this.”

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