Light Reading

2012 Leading Lights Finalists: Company of the Year (Private)

Michelle Donegan
Wireless Bits
Michelle Donegan
11/1/2012
50%
50%
Repost This

5:00 AM -- As the Leading Lights Awards ceremony approaches, it's time to review the finalists for Company of the Year (Private).

Admitedly, it wasn't easy to narrow down this shortlist because there were many good candidates. But our finalists of innovative, growing private firms are some of the companies challenging established vendors, and this list highlights some key industry trends, such as software-defined networking (SDN), the need for analytics, service assurance, advanced advertising and mobile payments.

You can see the full list of Leading Lights awards finalists here (free registration required).

The Leading Lights Awards and Light Reading's Hall of Fame winners will be revealed Wednesday, Nov. 7, at the Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.

Now, here's why these nine private companies, in no particular order, made the cut.

Square Inc.
The company created by Twitter Inc. co-founder Jack Dorsey in 2009, Square Inc. , is one of the sexiest tech startups around, offering a new way for people -- and particularly small businesses -- to buy and sell goods. Its credit card reader fits into the earphone jack of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) or Android smartphones and tablets, making it possible for anyone, anywhere to accept credit card payments. That simplicity is what makes the mobile payment gadget successful, and is what has spurred the company's rapid growth. When Square announced Series D funding in September -- which was reported to be around $200 million -- the company claimed that it had about 400 employees and processed $8 billion in payments on an annualized basis. But a year earlier it had just 150 employees and processed $1 billion in payments on an annualized basis.

And Square is expanding to work with bigger businesses and go into new markets as well. The first and most significant move in this direction is a partnership with Starbucks, through which the coffee retailer will invest $25 million in the company and use Square to process card payments across its 7,000 shops in the U.S. Square has also taken its card reader to Canada, its first market entry outside the U.S.

But here's a question to ponder: Would Square be such a hit today if it was called Squirrel, as originally planned?



ASSIA Inc.
The DSL line management specialist founded by Light Reading Hall of Famer John Cioffi in 2003 is on a roll, and shows that there is still room for innovation to improve DSL services and reduce service providers operating costs.

As one measure of how widely ASSIA Inc. 's software is now deployed, service providers use it to manage and optimize about 60 million DSL lines worldwide. The company recently landed its first customer in China -- China Telecom Jiangsu -- for its DSL Expresse product; and it also added new tools for monitoring and diagnosing residential Wi-Fi network performance. The key to ASSIA's DSL management is the company's Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) technology.



ConteXtream
This is one of the hottest software-defined networking (SDN) startups. ConteXtream 's software, called Grid, creates a fabric that connects any network element to any other. With investments from carrier heavyweights Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), the startup is now looking to apply SDN to wireless networks with the introduction of a new version of its Grid software that enables Evolved Packet Core (EPC) virtualization.



BlackArrow Inc.
As consumers watch less traditional TV and more time-shifted, video-on-demand content on various devices, advertisers need a way to reach them and BlackArrow Inc. 's advanced advertising system does just that. The system enables ads to be managed and delivered to any connected device, whether it's a TV, smartphone, tablet or game console. And the company has attracted some big service providers: Comcast, Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) have each recently rolled out the BlackArrow advanced advertising system.



Page 2: More candidates

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Page 1 / 2 Next >
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
More Blogs from Wireless Bits
Undercuts Huawei and ZTE in China Mobile 4G tender
CTO says vendor is seeking insight and inspiration from developer competitions
After a few months away, Sarah Reedy is back on the Light Reading team
Four new focus areas for NGMN Alliance highlight the key challenges facing mobile network operators in 2013
9:00 AM Smartphones have bigger mobile data appetites than tablets in Europe
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Wind River Demonstrates Carrier-Grade Software for NFV

4|22|14   |   5:00   |   (0) comments


Wind River VP of Product Management, Glenn Seiler, takes a look the industry's first and only complete NFV software platform designed specifically for the unique carrier-grade and high-performance needs of telecom networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
Hot Topics
WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
The Hungry, Hungry Cloud
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2014
Who's Ready to Play Broadband?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/21/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
Report: NFV/SDN Standards 'Myopic' on Service Management
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed