Light Reading

Vello Systems Lays Off 25%, Refocusing on Software

Mitch Wagner
7/15/2014
50%
50%

Vello Systems quietly laid off more than a quarter of its employees in the spring, and is refocusing on its networking-as-a-service software platform.

"Our mission is delivering the software that allows service providers and enterprises to transform their networks from traditional IT operations to network-as-a-service," says Vello Systems founder and CEO Karl May.

Vello launched its network-as-a-service platform, Connectivity Exchange, about two and a half years ago. Initially aimed at enterprise users, Connectivity Exchange gained more scale and service provider features, winning business from carriers such as Pacnet. (See Vello Deployed In The Pacnet Enabled Network .)

For the past several months, Vello has been working on refocusing its business on Connectivity Exchange. That included laying off 15 employees in its Belfast office in April, down from about 32-35 people in Belfast, bringing the total headcount for the whole company to about 40.

The layoffs came 14 months after the Belfast office opened, and they seem to have been an open secret. The only place we've been able to find the layoffs reported was the BBC News's Northern Ireland edition for April 15. (See Vello Expands Into Europe.)

Invest Northern Ireland promoted the opening of the Vello offices in this video:

Vello is de-emphasizing building apps and a GUI for its Connectivity Exchange. "In some respects we had some customers and partners who said to us 'that's what we want to do,'" May says.

Vello also has a "legacy" business in optical hardware that's "still doing pretty well," May says. "We are doing something specific with a major partner right now; we'll be announcing that in the next few weeks," May says. He declined to provide details, except to say Vello is looking to operate hardware as a separate business. "We don't want to tie our software sales to specific hardware platforms," May says. "It comes down to focus."

Vello is also making changes to upper management, May says, declining to provide specifics.

A critic might look at the changes at Vello and say this is a company in trouble. But May says, "The company that's in trouble is one that doesn't respond to changes in the market."

May was previously CEO of OpVista, which struggled in 2009 (See OpVista: Not Dead Yet. (See OpVista Gets Another Go). Vello comprises assets of several companies, primarily OpVista, May said.

May said in 2010 Vello was profitable (See Vello Pulls a Shocker: Profitability). He declined to say this week whether that remains the case.

Achieving profitability in 2010 took some belt-tightening. "There are little things that we cut, like janitorial service," he told us four years ago. "Our ledger person and I alternated taking out the trash."

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
7/17/2014 | 2:16:33 PM
Re: Time will tell.
My gut agrees with you, Scott. It seems Vello has been in turnaround for five years now. Too long. 
smkinoshita
100%
0%
smkinoshita,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/15/2014 | 7:17:13 PM
Time will tell.
A critic might look at the changes at Vello and say this is a company in trouble. May said, "The company that's in trouble is one that doesn't respond to changes in the market."

When a company can't afford janitorial services, it certainly sounds like trouble, or at least signs of trouble.  Especially when May won't say if the company is still profitable. 

At the same time, adaption takes awhile to create a turn-around.  My gut says that the company's in trouble though -- 2010 was awhile ago.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
Cats with Phones
Too Fluffy to Talk Click Here
Elmer found that his bountiful fur got in the way of meaningful conversation.