Data networking companies are this year?s hot property, but having gained independence after almost 30 years, one such supplier says it is not for sale.
?I didn?t join Timeplex to be owned again,? said Jacques de Labry, the company's chief executive. ?The fun we?re having right now is being the little guy on the block that knows more than the big guys.?
Timeplex has a long history of building and managing networks for large enterprises and governments. Having been bought by Unisys almost 10 years ago, then sold to Swiss telecomms technology company Ascom in 1991, Timeplex finally gaining its independence this year courtesy of US venture capitalist Schroder Venture. Moreover, the privately held company now plans to go public.
Telecomms equipment companies, like Ericsson and Alcatel, are very interested in acquiring data networking suppliers, a trend set when Nortel bought Bay Networks this year.
But Timeplex - which celebrates its thirtieth birthday next April - is happy with its independence, said de Labry, who became CEO in January 1998.
?We are a very experienced, very knowledgeable company in a market that?s exploding,? he said. ?The reason we?re independent is so we can enter the public market, so we can use the money raised to reinvest and acquire.?
Timeplex itself plans further acquisitions, in addition to its purchase of Simulated Laboratories in June. Further buys will probably be in software, said de Labry.
?From a hardware standing, we?re pretty well positioned. But more software and more services are what people are looking for. In the US people like to assume that the boxes are there - but it is the applications that enhance revenue that they want to be there,? he said.
Timeplex has a three-pronged strategy. Firstly it will provide value added services with network hardware, for example selling advanced switches to banks bundled with ATMs, to enable the machines to provide network dependent services such as ticket sales and advertising. Timeplex has a relationship with major teller machine vendor Diebold.
Networking services is Timeplex?s second strategy. The company operates remote management centres in the UK and the US, where it can monitor customers? entire networks regardless of the hardware platforms in use.
The third aim is to enable customers to migrate to new technologies without having to throw out their old equipment. Supporting this strategy are Timeplex? Synchrony Cell Exchange products, which allow users to migrate existing voice, data or video applications to ATM.
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