'New' Vyyo to Rise in March
That's according to CEO Wayne Davis, a cable vet who took the reins of the 3 GHz overlay specialist two years ago and has led the company through a patch of turbulence. He says smoother skies are ahead now that the company has regrouped and put a massive set of operational and technical changes in motion. (See Vyyo Adds New CEO, Vice Chairman.)
"I feel more confident about the strategy we have now than I ever have," Davis tells Cable Digital News.
Vyyo has been under the knife for the last year or so, having had trouble gaining traction for a technology that expands spectrum to 3 GHz, creating extra channels for advanced services such as high-definition television, Docsis 3.0, and video-on-demand.
The biggest change so far occurred late last year when Davidi Gilo -- Vyyo founder, and former chairman and CEO -- took back the company for a deal valued at $45 million. Vyyo, once traded on Nasdaq , is now a privately held "NewCo" and still counts Cox Communications Inc. as its most significant customer. (See Exclusive: Gilo Offers $45M for Vyyo and Investment Group Extends Vyyo Tender .)
Before that, Vyyo had initiated a massive restructuring and cost-cutting effort. (See Vyyo on Life Support and Vyyo Details Restructuring .)
Davis says going private removes a "huge burden," both operationally and financially. Eliminating the public tag sheds not only a "distraction" for a small company that needs to focus on what's truly critical, but also erases about $2 million in annual costs.
NewCo is developing a new Website. For now, visitors to the old one are met with a terse "under construction" message. (See Where's Vyyo?)
Davis isn't revealing anything about the company's new moniker. "But it's a very cool name," he maintains, noting that it's still undergoing all the legal registration maneuvers.
The strategy is also under wraps -- although the company did discuss planned product changes when the Gilo deal was in the works late last year, saying it would integrate its 3 GHz UltraBand technology into a single box that will be easier and cheaper to deploy than Vyyo's present products.
Davis says NewCo is developing a tiered set of products to help cable operators beef up plant more gradually with "minimum investment."
"I'm not going to talk about credenza-ware. But it's not going to be the same old stuff with a different name," Davis insists. "The next time I talk, it will be about… what we're rolling out near-term that will be driving the success of the company."
NewCo will also start to pursue business overseas. Vyyo spent the bulk of its attention on the North American cable market.
Davis declined to say how many people NewCo employs, but claims it's now "sized appropriately," with offices in Denver and Atlanta, plus an R&D team in Israel. The last time Vyyo provided a figure was last June, when it was down to 28 employees.
Up top, NewCo has retained former Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) chief technology officer Jim Chiddix as chairman. Dave Feldman has stayed on as the new firm's CTO.
Feldman, a cable engineering vet who was at Charter Communications Inc. with Davis when the MSO's Long Beach system became the first to deploy digital simulcast, "is really driving the packaging and the creativity" around NewCo's new products, Davis said.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News