As Director of Software Development over the Unix systems products, I managed a business budget, reviewed software engineers performance and contributions, recommended salary adjustments, located and hired consultants, co-ordinated activities among marketing, customer service and sales for our products, led the presentation of our Unix product plans to investors, and eventually to the buyers of the company, in a successful bid.
I worked with the take-over company to help their team understand the value of the ProTools designs, plans and individuals they acquired in the transition and co-ordinated between the organizations for a smooth transition of leadership to the new owners.
Perfect for Fortune 500 companies, and using the latest Request for Comments RFC to standardize a network packet inspection and analysis tool set.
ProTools had 32 employees at the time I was hired as Director of Engineering in a new group – the Unix development area.
I hired a team and contractors and successfully demonstrated a Unix central management system for distributed network monitoring within the first year. I developed a strategy to integrate the produce with HP and IBM Network Management umbrella packages, leading to the purchase of the company by Network General.
Integrated Technologies designed backbone Advanced Intelligent Network products for the telephone companies. They delivered a successful Service Control Point and SS7 communications controller.
CCI was a 100 million dollar business, clients from Bell Labs, ATT, MCI, Sprint and the Regional Bell Operating companies.
I managed 3 group leaders and a 3 million dollar a year budget in engineering, conforming to ISO process standards.
At Computer Labs, I was the lead systems designer for real-time process control systems. My role was the evaluation of processors, interconnect and development tools and process for a new generation of manufacturing process control systems.
I successfully designed and delivered within time and budget, a large scale monitoring and automation system which was deployed by American Can Company in 5 different locations across the country. Each manufacturing line produced high-tech plastic packaging in a continuous film.
The challenges were, cost, compute intensity, graphical user interface, scalability, reliability in an industrial setting and a time line. I worked with a key mechanical engineer at American Can company and bid a software only development budget, which after being successfully executed, was upgraded to a complete systems design, including hardware, software, support.
I founded Aspenworks, as a follow on to Aspen Internet Exchange and Aspen Internet Systems. I conceived each organization (AIX/AIR) as a way to make high speed rural broadband cost effective and useful.
I negociated for presentation opportunies at ISPCON – the premier Internet Service Provider Conference in San Francisco and spoke to a standing-room only crowd on the topic of the upcoming DSL broadband revolution.
It was the first time I’d heard the phrase “Can I sweep the floor where you are working on this DSL broadband project?” A hour long presentation described the methods of finding inexpensive copper tarrifs, and using those to produce broadband loops between customer premises and centralized internet services locations. At the time, no Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) rules were in place, so we co-located our DSL DSLAMs at Operator services locations which had hundreds of copper pairs. A non-scaleable solution, but one that demonstrated the technology, regulatory and market forces had shaped a business opportunity which was valid.
I presented the DSL Network Management strategy to Chuck Haas, then of Intel Capital and to DSL Covad founder Chuck McMinn, at the time Covad was a gleem in Mr. McMinn’s eyes. As result of my experience in the telecommunications business, where I learned over 40 billion dollars a year was spent on operations support each year in the US, I described the market opportunity as limited only by the ability of a startup DSL business, such as AIX, or Covad, to mange the lifecycle of customer acquisition, installation, maintenance, administration, performance, accounting, configuration and provisioning services. Together they are known as Operations Support Systems (Services) (OSS)
A few months later I was invited to a meeting at Las Vegas Interop where co-incidently I met the co-ordinator for Bear Sterns 200 million dollar debt financing of Covad. I asked Mr. McMinn at that meeting where the 200 million was going to be spent. He said, on OSS.
I never heard from Mr. McMinn or Bear Streans again.
AIX and AIR continued to operate for a few years, proving out technologies, market opportunities and identifying regulatory considerations for the DSL deployment business. In 1999 it became somewhat clear telephone companies no longer held the view that copper is dead, and must be written off as a tax loss, since fiber was ‘coming soon’ – 1999. To many, fiber is still ‘coming soon’. Aspenworks was borne out of the experiences of AIX/AIR in broadband deployment over the copper wireline telco plant.
Aspenworks launched in 2000 using new wireless technologies to overcome DSL copper, regulatory and technical business elements which doomed a large part of the aging copper DSL infrastructure.
Even today, the copper plant only amounts to an ongoing potential in urban areas, with relatively new copper plants, and only where economic SAS applies.
Aspenworks recognized that spectrum was a precious commodities and design a wireless deployment scenario which solved many broadband problems, even in rural areas.
Today Aspenworks network management tools still represent the most flexible and well integrated products to improve customer experience in the generally physics limited wireless broadband mobility deployment world.
Currently Aspenworks is developing applications which are using broadband mobility’s flexible access and reasonable pricing structure to bring economic benefits to energy, transportation and healthcare markets.
Aspenworks is a Colorado Corporation and has been in business since 2000.