& cplSiteName &

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.
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Fixing IoT Security Is an Ecosystem Challenge

12|9|16   |   05:34   |   (0) comments


Level 3 Communications' Chief Security Officer Dale Drew says service providers, manufacturers and even consumers must combine to halt massive DDoS attacks using IoT devices in botnets. The solution he has in mind includes reputation-based routing by the service provider but also more secure endpoint devices and greater consumer awareness.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 12/2/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.