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
Then pick up your axe, put on your spandex trousers and get yourself down to Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE). Kerrang!!!
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.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ciena CEO: The Web-Scale Revolution

4|28|15   |   10:32   |   (3) comments


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
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, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A study run by Insights in Marketing and commissioned by Meredith shows the devices, channels and ways in which women are consuming content.
Hot Topics
No Service, No Problem: 5 Places That Want to Be Unconnected
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/1/2015
Astellia Highlights Customer Care Disconnect
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/29/2015
Cisco's Robbins to Replace Chambers as CEO
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/4/2015
Sprint Maps Out Its Next-Generation Network
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/5/2015
Ciena's Cyan Buy: It's All About the Software
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 5/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Cats with Phones
Cinco de Mayo Click Here
Cats With Phones says Happy Cinco de Mayo. Accessorize appropriately.