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Optical/IP

Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back

Atoga Systems and Village Networks Inc., the startups most associated with the nascent market for a type of networking gear called optical packet nodes, have suffered layoffs recently, throwing the viability of the sector into question.

Optical packet nodes are devices that combine wavelength switching with IP routing -- not a simple task by any means (see Optical Taxonomy, page 10). Indeed, analysts have hounded startups for months with questions about the issues involved in packing two hefty technologies in one box (see God is Dead).

Atoga and Village have stood firm, maintaining their wares can save carriers money by selectively mapping metro services onto the wavelengths best suited to carry them. Both companies were well funded intially -- Atoga scored $64.5 million in two rounds (see Atoga Systems and Atoga Gets Another $50M), while Village got about $50 million in two rounds (see Village Networks Has $40M 2nd Round). Both have claimed to be in trials and gaining market traction.

Lately, however, the reduction in carrier capex has left the pair in a perilous position. Without a track record among existing carriers, it's increasingly unlikely they'll be able to get any sizeable installations until providers are once again willing to expand their networks. And even then, it's a question as to whether customers will opt for an unproven technology.

Both startups now face the possibility that they may be ahead of their time.

Atoga confirms that it's suffered a layoff. "We made a strategic decision to strengthen our financial position to enable us to meet the changing needs of the market," writes P.G.K. Menon, cofounder and VP of marketing, in a note to Light Reading.

Menon declines to give out figures as to the number of employees the company lost, but he says the firm now has "between 75 and 100." Back in May 2001, the firm told an online recruitment firm advertising at the Networld+Interop trade show in Las Vegas that it had 120 employees, which indicates it's lost anywhere from 16 percent to 37 percent of its workforce.

But Menon's far from throwing in the towel. The company has four trials going, he says, although he won't say where. Earlier this year, the company was said to be trialing its wares at AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T).

Menon also says Atoga's gear now features tunable lasers, which he says minimize sparing costs for carriers, enable them to increase network capacity without truck rolls, and "satisfy demand variability by simply tuning to the right wavelengths."

While Atoga struggles to make its point, Village Networks is similarly challenged. Spokespeople confirm that the startup has laid off about one third of its staff, leaving them with about 80 employees. They say Village has one lab trial going on in Asia, with three more on the drawing board, also in Asia.

Unlike Atoga, Village isn't interested in adding tunable lasers to its wares. "We think tunables are mainly to simplify inventory, and they increase the cost of our product," a spokesperson says.

What's next? It's hard to say. Other companies involved in this space, albeit for the network core, haven't done well: Ilotron and IPOptical were scuttled (see Ilotron Hits Hard Times and Altamar Buys Ilotron Remains). Luxcore Networks Inc. has changed its business plan (see Luxcore Pulls a Switcheroo). And news from Accelight Networks Inc. and Chiaro Networks has been minimal.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com
noitall 12/4/2012 | 7:27:20 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back thx for the heads up lightningman. let's wish him well. as for atoga...well, let's just hope someone comes along and buys 'em. you hate to see another flop in this valley of death.
lightningman2 12/4/2012 | 7:27:21 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Noitall,
The VP of Sales, Brian Noel was put on a rocket sled along with the rest of his uncompetent team last Friday 12/8. Stayed tuned for his next appearance at another unsuspecting optical startup. Well at first you don't succeed.....
manoflalambda 12/4/2012 | 7:31:32 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Yeppers...dead or severely pruned. Despite what "hobbit" said a while back, a long lost soul resurfaced and confirmed the cut of all software, system engineers and non-component hardware engineers. Now whether they can resurface as a component company, or as someone said, they are burning the rest of Battery's money, remains to be seen.
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:31:34 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Weird thing about Alphion. Just spoke to a sales rep. He just told me that when he calls his customers at Alphion none of them return his calls. The odd thing is that the voicemails are all rerecorded with someone elses voice saying that the employee is out and will return your call.Talk about stealthy. For a company to go to that extent that is pathetic. He told me that they are basically selling everything they got there including their intellectual property. If you don't believe me give them a call and call several extentions. I guess this further confirms that they are out of business.Pretty sneaky for someone who has a total of 51.9million in funding.
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:31:34 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back yes these guys are dead. The parking lot has 10 cars left. It must be all managment.
rosebudd 12/4/2012 | 7:33:30 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back > Can anyone tell me how many more months these
> guys have, or whether they are going to pull
> the sword from the stone and win lots of
> business?

No. But I can tell you all lottery winning numbers nationwide for the year to come.
Turtle Poop 12/4/2012 | 7:33:35 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Did this guys miss or make the window?

Yeah - we all know about hype.

Can anyone tell me how many more months these guys have, or whether they are going to pull the sword from the stone and win lots of business?

Thanks,
Turtle
Iago 12/4/2012 | 7:33:43 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I think you may have actually helped me to clarify the point I was looking to make and it is actually pretty relevant to the thread.

The problem with "hype"-- whether its inflated potential revenue from products that wont ever be built or shipped, or from phantom-tested drugs is stems from its motivation.

When the motivation is to make a quick buck, either by selling off a company at the expense of employees and investors, or scamming the public that a treatment works, there will always be dire consequences and innocent victims (layoffs and malpractice victims)

This does happen in all industries, but what concerns me most is the sense that these tactics have become commonplace and standard operating proceedure over the past 3 years for many companies in our space, not just a few random bad-apples




LTTSUF 12/4/2012 | 7:33:53 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Lago,

I appologize to the list for digressing from this most interesting topic, but can't help myself in commenting on the comparison made between Health Care and Tech Marketing "Hype". Obviously, you're unaware of the major lawsuits filed against drug companies because of drugs which were "Hyped" based on "Independent Research";) misleading doctors and ultimately consumers to believe in the desired outcome. Unfortunately, this kind of "Hype" can and has lead to death. Hmmmmm, I think I prefer Tech "Hype". You need to get real, the worst in human nature exists in every industry. Not just on this message board.

Chow!
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:33:54 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Mu-Law,

I agree with you. I was not saying that a company should be run just by sales. I was saying that these two groups need to work together and set realistic expectations. The startup I worked for,(not Atoga) had a wall up between marketing and sales. This lead to engineering focusing on the wrong things, and thus never were able to deliver to the roadmap.

"Note well; sales-driven companies are busted crap that lack a working marketing chip."
Paul Goldsmith 12/4/2012 | 7:33:58 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Yes, Netmgr, you are right. With my 19 years VC experienced, I can smell hype company easier. There are some significant characters in a hype company. Atoga meets these characters. When I visited their booth on supernet in 01/01, they had announced product would deliver in 03/01. Asked a few questions, I believed it's impossible after two months!!!! It is another hype for VC funding or acquisition. Poor Jey, if he read message I posted in Jan, he might be lucky to stay away ???
netmgr 12/4/2012 | 7:34:02 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I agree with pablo's comments... Paul, you are also right. I should have used the word "industry buzz" not hype. I did not mean to say that good startups need to exagerate or lie, even though I think most do to some extent and hope that they can come close to meeting their claims...
Paul Goldsmith 12/4/2012 | 7:34:04 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back netmgr,

I haven't seen a startup became success due to hype, except for CHEATING a company to aquire it. A good startup has a good VISION (not HYPE) to persuade VCs and customers, but never hype.

What is differnce between HYPE and good VISION? I think the key is in business plan and technology. A good vision company knows they can certainly deliver it based on its technology, even though it hasn't been done. A HYPE company KNOWS CLEARLY it can't deliver product, but they hype just for other purposes (VCs funding, acquisition...). Therefore, hype companies don't care who design the product (your talk in #65), because they know they can't deliver it!!!!. They just need nice names, such as Ph.D..., to cheat VCs and buyer. When balloon of hype blows up, the company will die......
pablo 12/4/2012 | 7:34:06 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back
It all depends on the definition of "hype" underlying this discussion. There are 2 possible meanings:

(1) Publicity - and no one can argue this is harmless and desired, any start-up has to know how to cast favorable light onto its products and learn articulate a strong value-proposition

(2) Deception - which, even to the most aggressive marketeer, ought to be undesirable, since it is ultimately utterly self-defeating in a business environment

Whoever thinks that its Marketing's job to *deceive* the market, be it customers or the financial community, is out of his/her mind.
netmgr 12/4/2012 | 7:34:08 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back
Paul,

I agree that a good startup cannot depend on hype only. I am just saying that hype helps momentum within and outside of a startup. Of course in the past, some companies could just be hype and get bought and their products may never make it out to the market.

Part of my definition of hype, and I know people will dissagree with this, is who the founders are and who the VCs are. Nobody can make me believe that Sycamore would have been as successful as it was as an IPO if Dan and Desh were not the founders... I am not taking away from their management skills and knowledge, which I know they have, but name recognition helped...

I think that I did say that hype was only part of 3 other parts. I firmly believe that today you need a solid business plan to make it even to get bought... You are right about the past in your second paragraph. Times change, hopefully most startups will adapt or they will die.

Again, I think that hype helps, but does not make a successful company.
Paul Goldsmith 12/4/2012 | 7:34:09 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back netmgr,

I can't agree with your theory: without hype, startup companies can't draw good VCs, good engineers and customer. If a startup hasn't good business plan and technologies, hype might TEMPORARYLY cheat some VCs, engineers and customer. When it can't deliver products, what happen in the startup? --- no more funding from VCs, good engineers leave, customers cancel contract .....

A company needs HYPE, it's only reason to attract someone to acquire it. If acquisition doesn't happen, the company will be in total disarray. Atoga is an example. If Atoga's HYPE were in last year, it might be acquired by Cisco or Nortel, but Atoga has not chance in now and future.






Iago 12/4/2012 | 7:34:10 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Well spoken. As a relatively newcomer to this business I'm always felt there is a sense of entitlement that pervades it.

After a long stint as a marketing type in healthcare, I was just excited not to have to wear a tie to work. The same job in networking paid 30-40% more for virtually the same work, and stocked fridges, company outings, and free dinners were abundant. Quite frankly, what passed for PR ("HYPE") in this industry would never fly elsewhere, but it was allowed/encouraged to continue because it produced the desired results.

Many/most of these companies were built to sell, and in a market where there are buyers, thatG«÷s a viable exit strategy. When there isnG«÷t, those without sustainable business models fail. God bless capitalism.

No one debates that it is unfortunate that many good people go down with them.



speed of light 12/4/2012 | 7:34:13 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Hey guys,

What's happening in the vendor market currently is really bad, I must admit. Isn't it called "Collateral damages" in a military language?!

Anyway, 90% of all of you quit the big guys (lucent, Nortel, AT&T...) for the promising start up Eldorado for the past 2-3 years... Did you complain at this time of your marketing hype? did you complain to have lunch or massages every day? Did you complain to drive to trade shows in limos?
Hellooooo ! wake up! nobody cared at this time! we can just all blame ourselves for believing that 3 ppt slides and 2 phd coud raise $20M and build the next Lucent! Oh actually we didn't want to be the next Lucent, just be bought by them, and retire in Bahamas...what a business plan!
I agree the wake up call is a bit violent, but just realize that the dream is over, and stop acusing Management, Marketing, Ben Laden or whoever you want, we were all part of that game...
Yes yesterday was a time when you could show very nice technologies and get funded, but today operators do not care about your technologies, they want a solution, want it NOW, and want it cheap (sorry I mean in-expensive) and easy to use. They don't want to be struggle trying to make communicate all the different boxes they acquired over the years (BTW, they also believed in Eldorado and "build, the traffic will come")...
I strongly suggest you read one of the last edition of Fortune: IT'S TIME TO DELIVER.

Good luck to all of you. The blood bath is not over.
sol.
exit105 12/4/2012 | 7:34:15 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I too have passed by their building in the evening around 7:00 PM and there are many cars. They probably wished they had never moved from their old place.
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:34:16 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back lightcatcher you are a good man and very smart. I commend you for your last post. Telephonegal you are sooo annoying. Now I know why you intentionally tried to show us you are a gal. yap yap yap. Why don't you go shopping to release the stress. LOL
mr telephone 12/4/2012 | 7:34:17 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back
Quotes from LightCatcher:

Perhaps V/N employees are working real hard at night and starting late in the morning?

Yes,
look in the parking lot when you go to lunch or when you leave work.




The economy has been horrible for everyone, however I think we need to stop hiding behind 9/11.

Yes,
The economy is horrible and we are doing our best to weather the storm. We are not hiding behind anything

Reguarding the Tycom lay off, I beg to differ here...everyone went after them.

I have never heard anyone at V/N bad mouth Tycom,quite the opposite, we have tried to be good neighbors, letting Tycom use our lot when their lot was full, exchanging building information, ect. And no one here was happy to see 140 of the neighbors loss their jobs.

I think mrtelecom may be unpopular because of his negativity.

I agree
mu-law 12/4/2012 | 7:34:19 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back You'd be hard pressed to site an example of success that does not have this exact overlap you describe at one end or the other. Companies that work this way have spawned the contemporary "celebrities" of our business.

"I think it is safe to say that Engineers do not know the least bit about marketing and should quit trying to understand and make uneducated assumptions about its processes...

AND Marketing does not know the least bit about Engineering and should quit trying to understand and make uneducated assumptions about its processes."
mu-law 12/4/2012 | 7:34:19 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Note well; sales-driven companies are busted crap that lack a working marketing chip.

"Pablo, Lets not confuse marketing with sales, the sales team should be the eyes and ears of the company as far as what the customers needs are."
pablo 12/4/2012 | 7:34:20 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Lightningman -

I totally agree with all you say. My message exclusively addressed the marketing-engineering scenario that was described in one message.

Fact is many start-ups fail because they think one particular group (which typically shows a strong correlation with the founders' background) is perceived as infallible "elite", and the other teams as lazy also-rans.

In this climate, even more than before, no company will be successful unless *all* teams are firing on all cylinders, and contributing their unique and irreplacable input to the company's success. And communicating constructively.

As soon as the finger-pointing starts, it's over.
dbostan 12/4/2012 | 7:34:20 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Netmgr is absolutely right.
It is very rare to find such a quality message, at least on this thread.

We should all take example.
netmgr 12/4/2012 | 7:34:21 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back
I think that this is a very bad sign of our times... A year and a half ago, people were posting messages to boost their own products and company... Now these message groups are as bad a "Oprah" for techies. Everyone bashing everyone else. People speculating on who will be next to fail. I am not without fault. I am daily looking at the competition seeing if there are signs of the big "Chapter 7". Only the strong will survive this market, which people hope will start to turn in the second quarter of next year... People cannot admit that all startups are a crap shoot. All startups have to have one of the following:

1) A clear and viable business plan
2) Hype
2) Execution
3) Luck

And some have all three. Without Hype, you do not draw good VCs, good engineers, and customers. Without execution, which is a combination of marketing, engineering and management comming together to solve the problem and meet market expectations...

Yes, there were a whole bunch of startups that were targeting a market that has evaporated. Yes, there are startups that were based more on hype and did not have a clear business plan. Blame this on the greedy VCs. Right now, they are licking their wounds...

Who cares if a particular person was hired to do optical design for the first time or not...

Nobody starts a startup thinking that they are going to fail. Nobody will ever go for a job interview and hear from the interviewer that they are waisting their time and that they should only come for the pay check and that the company could fold if the market goes away.

I think that it is pathetic that people are mentioning companies saying that they will survive. Of course, people should think that their company will make it through necessity (the alternative, failure, unthinkable...) but they should not be so bold to push their dreams or to squash other's dreams. Right now, all startups are vulnerable. If the market does not turn, even the companies that have IPOed in the last year or two could fail.

All startups rely on new spending and other companies having the money to bet on a new guy and not go with an incumbant.

These statements are as they are, and I do not even begin to believe that my words are nothing more than just an opinion.

I am not saying that it is bad to talk about failing companies and layoffs. I think that it is a good measure of the engineering market. Just leave out the sour grapes and back stabbing...
LightCatcher_NJ 12/4/2012 | 7:34:21 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Quotes from telecomgal:

"If he was indeed next door then he would see plenty of cars. Unless, of course he has a vision problem."

I don't know about you but since Monday I have check V/N parking lot every morning between the hours of 8:45 am and 9:00 am, all days, less than ten cars in their parking lot (on their side anyway)... Perhaps V/N employees are working real hard at night and starting late in the morning but if not, smells like a BIG layoff.

"Unlike some other startups Village has a product and perhaps Village and other startups would have had a better chance if the economy were better and 9/11 had never happened."

The economy has been horrible for everyone however I think we need to stop hiding behind 9/11, 9/11 is not responsible for these layoffs, all 9/11 did was speed up the process and give us an excuse to hide behind and make us feel better (May not be P/C).

"Now, Tycom had a 25% layoff and I didn't hear Village racing to speak ill of them."

I beg to differ here.... Everyone went after that one.... On top of which, killed their spin-off TerraWorx.

"What is it that brings out the worst of you? Sounds like sour grapes to me."

I think mrtelecom may be unpopular because of his negativity however mrtelecom hits on more truth then not... mrtelecom may have a case of sour grapes but who doesn't, after all, we work 70-hour work weeks with the only promise of stock... Stock, what's that?
telecomgal 12/4/2012 | 7:34:22 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I want to set the record straight. First off Village had 140+/- employees a few months ago not the 200 that mrtelcom states. If he was indeed next door then he would see plenty of cars. Unless, of course he has a vision problem. The trials are still on-going and the staff is continuing to work. Yes, there were layoffs and Villge has 30% less people but Village has not closed it's doors.

Unlike some other startups Village has a product and perhaps Village and other startups would have had a better chance if the economy were better and 9/11 had never happened. Why not wait and see if there is still life in the body before you bury it and declare it dead.

Now, Tycom had a 25% layoff and I didn't hear Village racing to speak ill of them.

What is it that brings out the worst of you? Sounds like sour grapes to me.
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:34:24 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Pablo, Lets not confuse marketing with sales, the sales team should be the eyes and ears of the company as far as what the customers needs are. The VP of Sales and the VP of marketing need to be communicating on a regular basis and strategically providing engineering with a priority of deliverables that will win business. Engineering should look at the best ROI with what they have as core expertise to deliver a product that can bring revenue in the door expeditiously.
Lastly, the CEO and CTO need to be on top of one thing and one thing only: How do I deliver on the vision I sold to my investors in a reasonable period of time.
RJ-45 12/4/2012 | 7:34:26 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back This is a blueprint for a well-functioning
Politburo, not a high-tech company.

"I think it is safe to say that Engineers do not know the least bit about marketing and should quit trying to understand and make uneducated assumptions about its processes...

AND Marketing does not know the least bit about Engineering and should quit trying to understand and make uneducated assumptions about its processes.

Comment on what you know... you are best at what you do. Quit pointing fingers at other departments."

Kyra 12/4/2012 | 7:34:27 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I think it is safe to say that Engineers do not know the least bit about marketing and should quit trying to understand and make uneducated assumptions about its processes...

AND Marketing does not know the least bit about Engineering and should quit trying to understand and make uneducated assumptions about its processes.

Comment on what you know... you are best at what you do. Quit pointing fingers at other departments.

LLNL 12/4/2012 | 7:34:29 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I have been working at LLNL for 20 years. I didn't hear that Mark had worked in the field of optical communcation before. He can learn a lot in his new position.



------------------------------------------------
Atoga laid off 48 people last week. As an former employee, I have to say that
this is a shameless and super-hype company I have ever
met. Acturally, I joined Atoga after SuperCom, was
induced by thier many "exciting news". After I worked
there, I found all the news are cheating!!!!

* In Jan/01, Atoga said they were doing field trial
and the product (OAR5) will be released in 3/01.
Acturally, the box never worked, because AT&T has a
close relationship with P.G. Menon (one of Atoga's
founders), Atoga only stored the box at AT&T and they
released above news, which is absolutely untrue.

* Atoga sent empty box to SUPERCOM in July, they
actually "paid" to get the "golden prize". Rumor also
said they paid many magzines, to publish good news for them .
C++neyt +Żzveren (CEO) presented everywhere that Atoga's
system is using tunable laser, acturally, so far,
Atoga only received 18 modules of tunable lasers (this
can be confirmed with Agility!!! http://www.lightreading.com/do.... The truth is Atoga
NEVER used tunable laser to make system. Did anyone
see Atoga's tunable laser system demo?

* Atoga has no TRUE optical engineers. I searched Mark Lowry's
22 published papers (Atoga's Photonics Director), he
worked in LLNL for 17 years, but NONE is related to
optical communcation. Can you believe it? People who
are close to C++neyt said that he hired Mark because of
his "Ph.D" and "LLNL", so the manager team "looks
great", he didn't really care about his background.


Atoga released tons of shameless news? The only reason I believe is that Atoga was trying to sell the company. They hoped the
hype would atract some companies (like Cisco) to
acquire it ( like Nortel acquires Xros by concept last
year). But this is impossible in current economics.
clearly I believe this company will certainly die
soon.
pablo 12/4/2012 | 7:34:29 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back > Granted, we engineers tend to over blame
> marketing. Even when marketing asks 5 engineers
> to do the job of 10 people in 1/2 the time to
> meet some absurd marketing promise to a not so
> interested potential customer.

In this scenario, engineering is either weak or foolish to not push back if those are truly established facts. It basically describes both team not doing their job. Ideally engineering *should* be able to realistically assess what they can achieve byu when, and marketing management self-assured enough to sell that capability convincingly. The scenario contains neither.
TYCOMAN 12/4/2012 | 7:34:31 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back That makes sense! lolol
90 million dollars in VC money for chinese food.
I see what they mean by VC!!!!!
beef and brocoli coming right up.
rosebudd 12/4/2012 | 7:34:32 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back russ4br wrote:
"Unfortunately - that leads to the usual suspects - product management, hardware/software engineering, systest, operations guys...

Why do we engineers always try to put the blame on the marketing folks? Get real, guys!"

Granted, we engineers tend to over blame marketing. Even when marketing asks 5 engineers to do the job of 10 people in 1/2 the time to meet some absurd marketing promise to a not so interested potential customer.

And then you wonder why you end up with a 1/2 ass product.

Must be the engineers.
LightYears 12/4/2012 | 7:34:33 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Mrtelecom, here is a little secret TYCOMAN neglected to tell you, Village Networks is not an equipment vendor, it's really a Chinese take out. They are not building optical packet nodes there on Industrial Way, they are frying up beef with brocoli, pork fried rice, Buddah's Delight, General Kai's chicken...

The cars you see in the parking lot belong to the delivery people. Ever since Tycom and Alphion had the layoffs, business has been slow for Village. Coupled with the intense competition from the local all-you-can-eat joints, Village was forced to lay off its product managers (aka cooks) and its sales team (aka delivery people).

Now you know the truth. Egg foo young anyone?
Kyra 12/4/2012 | 7:34:35 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back ... and Jasmine Networks is a great example of highly EXPERIENCED management... and are they any better off?

It's not that simple.



ZA 12/4/2012 | 7:34:38 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back dbostan,

Dog knows honesty if host feeds it!!! Atoga is still feeding you with high salary, but you are not with Atoga, switch to be a spy for Cisco. It is the reason that Cisco didn't acquire Atoga finally.

"Jey,
It seems to me that you do not understand plain English: I am not with Atoga anymore."
Jon Bon Jovi 12/4/2012 | 7:34:42 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back These guys missed the window...they no longer have any hope to hold on to the IPO dream.

1. Non-revenue IPO's like Corvis are no longer accepted.

2. You need to have at least $40m in revenue, equipment carrying live traffic with tons of customers, and at least 2-3 products.

Is either company a take-over target? Even for acquisition, these guys need to show that they a) have tons of PO's or b) are about to get PO's.

PS - why are the guys on Atoga's web-page jumping? is it for joy? or is the floor too hot?
Cutiepie 12/4/2012 | 7:34:42 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back These guys are headed in the wrong direction: Service providers are recoiling from the start-up "experiment" and going back to the incumbent eqpt suppliers, these start-ups meanwhile are burning through cash and getting weaker and weaker, their product visions are increasingly being viewed either as hot air and hype or too early for implementation.

But I have alot of respect for their excellent visions.
Optitude 12/4/2012 | 7:34:43 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back A friend of mine who just got canned there says the company is in total disarray. Is that true?

Do people think Atoga will survive until Q1 2002?
TYCOMAN 12/4/2012 | 7:34:44 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Mrtelecom,
I have to say that you are 100% right about the information you have given. I used to work at Village and got laid off last week with most of the people there. At one point we had about 178 people at Village(you were a little off on this). This board is nothing but bashers. You and a few others were the first to point the layoffs out at Village and Alphion and now the bashers have nothing to do but bash you data.
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:34:44 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Did I hit a sore spot??? Ohh you must be one of the only people left at Village. I see now why you are so bitter. I bet when the CEO of village said they had a total of 5 field trials you believed that also!! LOL! You listen to him Like sheep to the slaughter. Why would you lay off all product management if there were all these field trials happening. Probably because the field trials do not exist or came to an abrupt end.




stein 12/4/2012 | 7:34:46 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back mrtelecom

Your inability to read (the article said Village laid off 30% of its workforce), your inability to see (cars in parking lots), your inability to utilize the English language (just read your posts)and your inability to separate truth from fiction (again reference your posts) precludes you from providing a meaningful contribution to the stories you have chosen to comment on.

If you must celebrate news of additional layoffs in an already poor economy or gloat over your G«£confirmed closure listG«• (another example of your inability to separate truth from fiction), please do it alone in your own driveway; there must be at least one car there all day.

s
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:34:46 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back None! Harvey absolutley nothing. That is why they are basically closed.
mr telephone 12/4/2012 | 7:34:47 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back now now now Mr. telecom,
I'm just trying to get your info straight, you claim to work next door, but it seems you can not see the 80 cars in the lot...are you looking out the right window? or maybe you don't work next door at all?, you say V/N had 200 employees..not quite..they had between 140-150, on 11/13 at 1:57 pm you said V/N layed off 90% of their staff then 4 hours later at 6:01 you said V/N layed off 60% of their staff??? which is it, or do you have a 30% margin of error in your statements.like I said before, try getting your facts straight before you attempt to trash a company. you don't know what you are talking about..I'm sure most readers of light reading would agree to this, at lease 90% (no margin of error there).do I feel like a fool...not quite..how are you feeling,no need to respond...angry people bore me
HarveyMudd 12/4/2012 | 7:34:48 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Village Networks does not bring any truly new and innovative products to the market place. The product that Village Networks claims to have does not advance either the technolgy, cost reduction and future survivability. The kindof technology that Village Networks claims to provide is easily provided by DWDMs. So what is the point of this product?
HarveyMudd 12/4/2012 | 7:34:48 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I tried to understand the Atoga products many times, but I was not succesful.

I do not see any real merit in this product.This product can not help the RBOCS or the service providers enhance their revenues.

The product appears to be a simple hype with no customers.

The recent layoffs is simply meant to save the money so that the management can pay for another two years.
dbostan 12/4/2012 | 7:34:48 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Jey,
It seems to me that you do not understand plain English: I am not with Atoga anymore.
Instead of posting garbage on LR and insulting people, you should invest your time better.
Jey 12/4/2012 | 7:34:49 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back dbostan,

I know whom you are. You are paied by Atoga, but you say you are no longer with Atoga. Why do you not acknowledge you are one of Atoga's toughest managers? You lie again. Based on Paul Goldsmith's message, I just read what you posted in Jan/01:

http://www.lightreading.com/bo...

Atoga - this "no-name company" is going to be very famous because of its "hype" and "hones".
russ4br 12/4/2012 | 7:34:50 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back The proof is in the results, what has he accomplished?

Hey, the guy is VP of Marketing, not a magician!

Atoga Mkt folks did a superb job of hyping the (future) product! Sales also can't be blamed for not selling a box that isn't yet available!

Unfortunately - that leads to the usual suspects - product management, hardware/software engineering, systest, operations guys ...

Why do we engineers always try to put the blame on the marketing folks? Get real, guys!

- russ
noitall 12/4/2012 | 7:34:51 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back someone told me the product just isn't finished/ready for live traffic. lightningman, are you an ex-atoga person? someone told me these guys got the trials going with the usual suspect customers but no one's going to write a check if the gear doesn't work...not anymore anyway. i heard this guy is pretty good.
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:34:51 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back "Pretty Good" at doing what? The proof is in the results, what has he accomplished?
lightningman 12/4/2012 | 7:34:52 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back One of the reasons that Atoga has gotten limited traction in the marketplace is because its VP of Sales Brian Noel and his team are clueless about what they are trying to sell. He was a channel manager at Cisco (used car salesman), and a VP of Sales at Level III(would you like an apple pie with your Big Mac). If Atoga is going to be successful it needs to hire competent people who understand the technology they are trying to push.
dbostan 12/4/2012 | 7:34:52 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I do not understand why you display so much superiority.
I doubt that you really do research on companies, but like to place such posts on LR.
By the way, I am no longer with Atoga, and certainly, Dr. Lowry did not pay me for anything.
I replied because what Jey wrote is wrong and I like straight things.
Arnold Apefest 12/4/2012 | 7:34:53 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back These guys in Atoga management collectively have about three years of experience...even the person being paid off by Lowry to sing his praises on this message list.

Most of management needs to go back to directorships and learn lessons in competence and honesty.
Optics Mgmt 12/4/2012 | 7:34:53 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back It is interesting to see such garbage being said.
Hey ARNOLD! (sounds like a cartoon, doesn't it)

BTW I have over 27 years experience in data communications and networking. So that blows your theory out of the water.

Stay in cartoons.
lambda 12/4/2012 | 7:34:54 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Ok Mr Telecom:
I have heard enough of your infinite deal of nothings and ramblings....
Village had a max. of around 140-150 folks... This was in August/Sep ...
I have been searching but I never saw where lightreading said they had 200 employees, so I am not sure what confirmation you are talking about.
Anyway, you really should check your facts and stop speculating.. I think you must be fishing for info.. Maybe you can get a job with the enquirer...
tatar 12/4/2012 | 7:34:54 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Jey,

I feel terribly sorry that you lost your job. But I guess Atoga management showed great competence in picking up the weak link.

It is a great shame on you to talk about your co-workers this way. You should have spent more time with Dr. Lowry, with whom I had the honor to work with. He is a very distinguished and systematic scientist. In the 80s, these guys have been laying the foundations of fiber communications while your kind joined for the supper. BTW, national labs DO have the tendency not to publish for apparent reasons...

Cheers,

Tatar
dbostan 12/4/2012 | 7:34:55 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Jey,
You should refrain from posting such messages, regardless of your frustration with Atoga.
I worked with Dr. Lowry at Atoga, and he is a very good and respectable optical specialist.
Besides, the entire team deserves credit for what it accomplished. The tunable lasers work fine, and the systems do what it what they were designed to do.
It is sad that the market evolved the way it did.
As one of the other guys said, it is not easy to work for start ups. If can not take it, don't do it!
let-there-be-light 12/4/2012 | 7:34:56 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back With all the troubles hitting the start-ups (primarily because they are start-ups f not for any other reason), maybe companies like LU might be in a good position after all.

Simply because when the temperature rises, it takes a longer time for a larger ice-block to melt away.

Nothing against start-ups per se...
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:34:56 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Village had 200 employees a couple of months ago. Now they have 80. That is a 60 percent reduction according to what they say. Besides, trust me when I tell you that no more than 20-30 people remain. They got rid of all product managment, all software and most hardware. The company is done. So to you Mr. telephone get lost! You feel like a fool now that Lightreading has confirmed what I said.
lightbulb0 12/4/2012 | 7:34:57 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back word to ATOGA:

This is not the end of the world. There are still chances to stage a come back when market turn around. Here is what you need to do:
1. communicate well with VC community and use capital intelligently which != frugality.
2. take this time to shuffle the team, get the righ and good people.
3. treat the layoffs fair and well, they will circulate you reputation further down the road for many years.
4. believe your vision, focus on dilievery and innovations, work quitely.

market will turn north as fast as turn south.

Good Luck to all hardworking and unfortunate people.
Jey 12/4/2012 | 7:34:57 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back lightbulb,

add an item in your recomments

5). (Atoga) NEVER releases HYPE message again to induced employee and VCs. Otherwise, they would hate you. Atoga must learn what is HONES.
Optics Mgmt 12/4/2012 | 7:34:57 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Having worked at ATOGA and being one of the recent layoffs, some of what has been said is true and some is just BS.

It is true that there was some hype (or marketing)and as someone else said there has to be some of it. It is also true that all startups will not succeed. Jey (whoever he is) doesn't belong at startups, stay at established companies Jey.

What happened to ATOGA and probably Village is they released products before their time in order to get the hype going. I have been at startups in the past and you have to do this to a certain extent. Otherwise funding, interests by customers and future employees will not happen.

Both Village and ATOGA have been hit by market changes, the BLECs died and CLEC's and tier 1 carriers cap ex has dropped off. They are not interested in "God boxes" at this time. Maybe in a couple of years.

Having seen the tunable lasers myself, they indeed do work and are very slick. But the market isn't ready for them right now either.

In response to Jey's comments about buying off magazines, I have to say hogwash!! I have never seen or heard that ATOGA bought off magazines or awards. What ATOGA has is a great Marketing Cmmunications team and they can spin a story the best I have seen (besides Cisco). I am sure Lightreading, other magazines and award teams would take offense to the opinion that they can be bought off.

Thank you
mr telephone 12/4/2012 | 7:34:58 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back telecom,
where did you go to school? since when is 1/3 90%.
You should bone up on your math skills before you make comments. And yes you do speak bullshit.tuna fish anyone?
opticaltalent 12/4/2012 | 7:34:58 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back
Does anyone really think they are going to make it??? Atoga is a textbook example of a company that was heavy on the story and light on delivery.

Hey...Atoga's mgmt. team...didn't you get the memo...smoke and mirrors selling techniques stopped in 99'!!!
Paul Goldsmith 12/4/2012 | 7:34:59 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Jey,

You are unlucky guy to join Atoga by their HYPE news. Acturally, I have posted a message in Jan/01 to mentione this hype. Please see the discussion talks under the article.

http://www.lightreading.com/do...
poster 12/4/2012 | 7:35:00 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back lightbulb:

anyone can have a great idea, as your handle indicates. but only a few people/companies have what it takes to EXECUTE, which is a the real challenge. 'vision' doesn't mean jack if you can't deliver.
lightbulb0 12/4/2012 | 7:35:00 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back It is pitty to see a disgruntled employee bashing his former employer. But isn't it the risk you have to take when joining a startup? Isn't it true that we all were told not all startups work out well. Greed is good to ispire you to take the risk but dont let it dominate your life. I personally think Atoga and Village heading into the right product direction but far ahead its time. And worse of all, they never accumulate enough engineering expertise to execute their vision. What was left were the marketing hype otherwise would be perfect vision.
akulla 12/4/2012 | 7:35:01 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back My point continues about consolidation not only of Service Providers but for companies with no product as well. Market acceptance is a requirement for startup in todays new world. VC is scarce and gone are the days of build it and figure out what it does latter (Village and Attoga exemplify this concept). I am sure why recovery will not start is highlighted by these two "ponzi" companies.

It doesnt matter if its 80 or 20 person layoffs! I bet if you looked under the cover at either one, the Layoffs would look far more substantial! I am sure they are both in the conserve capital and hang on for better days mode, while neither company has substantely changed market direction or product focus, on assumes that both CEO's of Village and Attoga are convinced that nothing has changed in the market for the lats 12 months? Or worse yet, good times are just around the next quarter.

Compaines must either prove market acceptance or die in this enviroment...and soon!
Attoga and Village have done neither in the last 18 months, and therefore, my any definition of a market driven economy, cease operations.

I am not anti startup, but others in this market have quietly done. I am sure Attoga/Village however, like most of these super hyped companies have missed the market,or the Market has rejected their technology, or most likely, have had no real product at all.

Having companies like these create a resource drain a tight economy helps no one except the hype machine companies advertising budgets (why did it take L/R so long to mention layoffs at it some of its darlings? and then ask such "Softball Questions?" It MUST be the advertising dollars!)


Eratta
My appologies to the Village person who corrected my previous comments on "Outside Executive team at Tellium. (I am sure you will be reading this)

To clarify:My point it that Tellium has a Buisness person (bottom line driven) running the company vs. research (technology driven). Tellium had a successfull IPO with this CEO at the helm. It's not the LU background, but what they did while at LU! My point was that Village appeared to be built on the same model as the Tachion. They both did not built a "real" products, but a "Proof of Concept shop". It appears both never delivered, and both had founders at the helm, and both were part of the "Silicon Parkway" down in NJ.

As far as your point about "Elite" researchers at Village vs. "Hacks" from Tachion; If product never ships, whats the difference?
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:35:01 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Great point! You speak the truth my friend
hawkman 12/4/2012 | 7:35:03 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I have visited both of these companies as a vendor. Neither of them ever had any idea what they wanted. I left there happy that I did not make a sale, because I didnt want to our products assosciated with them.
hiddentiger 12/4/2012 | 7:35:04 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back "Even being an optical engineer, I can barely distinguish between what can and cannot be done i.e. what is doable vs what is pure hype."
----

What is doable- is usually phase 1 on the product roadmap.

What is pure hype- is usually phase 2. ;-)
iamnoone 12/4/2012 | 7:35:05 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Great specific insights! Too bad it requires someone to be on the inside to figure all these things out. But it certainly helps future job seekers know what questions to ask, and to look for fishy smells...

However, there remains the question about how someone can raise any money if he/she doesn't resort to hype? After all, the reason he/she needs the money is because there is no product to sell, and the technology doesn't work (yet).

Even being an optical engineer, I can barely distinguish between what can and cannot be done i.e. what is doable vs what is pure hype. But this post about Atoga describes stuff beyond hype, going into outright dishonesty.
MKTG_Hack 12/4/2012 | 7:35:05 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back All I know is that a recruiter told me to stay away from Atoga at all costs.
mrtelecom 12/4/2012 | 7:35:05 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back See, this is further proof that Village is in the toilet. They laid off 90 percent of their staff and are waiting till d-day. I don't speak bullshit.

One article down another to go(alphion).
opticguy 12/4/2012 | 7:35:06 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back I was interviewed by Altoga mgmt a year ago and I declined their offer, because I had concerns about the quality of the people interviewed me and also other companies were better in many aspects, compared to Atoga. In the current environment, people will show their true colors !!!!!!

Jey 12/4/2012 | 7:35:08 PM
re: Atoga, Village Networks Scale Back Atoga laid off 48 people last week. As an former employee, I have to say that
this is a shameless and super-hype company I have ever
met. Acturally, I joined Atoga after SuperCom, was
induced by thier many "exciting news". After I worked
there, I found all the news are cheating!!!!

* In Jan/01, Atoga said they were doing field trial
and the product (OAR5) will be released in 3/01.
Acturally, the box never worked, because AT&T has a
close relationship with P.G. Menon (one of Atoga's
founders), Atoga only stored the box at AT&T and they
released above news, which is absolutely untrue.

* Atoga sent empty box to SUPERCOM in July, they
actually "paid" to get the "golden prize". Rumor also
said they paid many magzines, to publish good news for them .
C++neyt +Żzveren (CEO) presented everywhere that Atoga's
system is using tunable laser, acturally, so far,
Atoga only received 18 modules of tunable lasers (this
can be confirmed with Agility!!! http://www.lightreading.com/do.... The truth is Atoga
NEVER used tunable laser to make system. Did anyone
see Atoga's tunable laser system demo?

* Atoga has no TRUE optical engineers. I searched Mark Lowry's
22 published papers (Atoga's Photonics Director), he
worked in LLNL for 17 years, but NONE is related to
optical communcation. Can you believe it? People who
are close to C++neyt said that he hired Mark because of
his "Ph.D" and "LLNL", so the manager team "looks
great", he didn't really care about his background.


Atoga released tons of shameless news? The only reason I believe is that Atoga was trying to sell the company. They hoped the
hype would atract some companies (like Cisco) to
acquire it ( like Nortel acquires Xros by concept last
year). But this is impossible in current economics.
clearly I believe this company will certainly die
soon.

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