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A move brought down their Website and phones, but management's suddenly reappeared to say "all's well" UPDATED 4PM
May 9, 2002
Hard times such as these make folk jumpy. When a startup goes missing, even for a good reason, it's enough to send whispers through the industry.
That's what we learned on our quest to uncover the whereabouts of Alidian Networks Inc. this week.
The search began Monday, when emails and messages to Light Reading asked after Alidian, which specializes in packet-centric optical edge gear (see A New Optical Taxonomy, page 7). "Has Alidian gone quietly into the sunset?" queried one former employee.
The facts: The company Website was down for days. No one answered the phone -- at least no one who works there now. Several former execs still have voice mailboxes on the main number, despite having left long ago. Calls to competitors, investors, and even customers were mostly a dead end.
With two exceptions: "I spoke with someone there Sunday," reported Anna Reidy, senior analyst at Current Analysis. "I think they're moving their facilities, and their T1's down."
A lone VC confirmed this: "Alidian is moving its office, that's all," says Peter Wagner of Accel Partners. That's why the phones aren't working, the Website's down, and email isn't getting through. "It's a tough market, but they're making progress. I'm sorry that there's nothing more interesting than that happening."
Calls to Alidian's other investors, including Foundation Capital and Institutional Venture Partners, failed to turn up anything, despite assurances from at least one of them that we'd hear back from CEO David Newman.
Then, after the first version of this story was published, Alidian's Website was suddenly back up and running, and we finally heard from a live bod -- a very angry one.
Al Sadler, COO of Alidian, says the firm was "extremely disappointed" in our original version of this story. As noted, Alidian was just moving to new digs in Milpitas, Calif. Had we tried a bit harder and left word in the general voicemail box, he implied, we might have gotten word back sooner.
Not only that, but Sadler says there's news coming: Despite some setbacks several months back (see Alidian Appoints, Lays Off, Alidian Restructures , Alidian Lays Off Again, and Alidian Lays Off 25%), Alidian's now signing new customers, introducing new cards for its multiservice platform, and releasing new software that features multicast support. It'salso exhibiting with an unnamed OEM at Supercomm 2002, in a partnership that will be announced at the show, according to Sadler.
General advice to any startups planning to move offices: Make sure the phone's forwarded and the Website's plugged in. The world is watching -- and what happens if a customer calls?
— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.comFor more information on Supercomm 2002, pleasevisit: Supercomm Special
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