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Dolce Starts Verivue

Raymond McConville
News Analysis
Raymond McConville
4/13/2007
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Former Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) executive and Light Reading Mover & Shaker Jim Dolce is at it again. (See Top Ten Movers and Shakers in Telecom and our 2000 interview: Level 3 Intros Wavelength Service.)

We caught up to Dolce at his new startup, Verivue Inc., in Westford, Mass., via phone this week, and he wasn't too keen on tipping his hand on his new company's activities. "I'm not ready to discuss the company," he said. Dolce said the time to talk "won't be until late summer to early fall."

Dolce, along with former Unisphere Networks CFO Mark Nasiff and Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) founder Rubin Gruber are keeping the lid on Verivue for now; neither could be reached for comment.

No one we've reached has a specific lock on what Dolce and company are building. One source says it is video-related, and Verivue's executive team shares backgrounds spanning the video hardware, software, and networking hardware space.

The former executive VP certainly has the financial might necessary to start a company, and some sources say Verivue is self-funded. Recall that Dolce netted a cool $14.5 million in 2005 just for selling off his Juniper shares prior to his departure from the company. (See Juniper's Dolce: Ka-Ching!.)

Dolce is a seasoned entreprenuer, as the salty old VCs like to say. He arrived at Juniper as part of the company's $740 million acquisition of Unisphere Networks, where he was CEO. (See Juniper Nabs Unisphere for $740M.) And Dolce arrived at Unisphere because that company bought Redstone Communications, a company he founded, for $500 million.

Before Redstone, Dolce was VP and general manager at Cascade Communications, which he joined when Cascade acquired Arris Networks, another he founded, for $175 million.

Sonus founder Rubin Gruber is also a member of the Verivue team. Gruber's past involves founding a startup called VideoServer that delivered hardware- and software-based solutions for video conferencing, so his involvement in a new video-related venture makes sense.

Both Dolce and Gruber have ties to Boston area VC firm Matrix Partners , the company that funded Dolce's Redstone Communications, so it won't be surprising if that's one of the first names that comes up should Verivue start looking for funding.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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lightreceding
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lightreceding,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:10:23 PM
re: Dolce Starts Verivue
of good luck. His main skill seems to be pumping his own brand. Arris was a one year old startup that hadn't done much of anything when Cascade bought it and made him rich. He talked his way in to a senior exec role at Cascade while the rode the wave of ATM buildout, they they sold to Ascend. Dolce then leveraged his success to start Redstone which he sold to Siemens. They spun it off as Unisphere which wasn't a success and then Dolce sold it to Juniper. He and his people then proceeded to take over much of Juniper causing a lot of turmoil and delays in getting features on the right products. Juniper still doesn't have a combined BRAS and Edge router like Redback. Then Dolce and his men started exiting Juniper with lots of money from the stock. Now he is back with a few of his buddies doing something probably in the IPTV space. The kind of article linked below just fuels the brand pumping and leads people to think that guys like Dolce are really smart and not just very lucky.

http://www.lightreading.com/do...
gottappp
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gottappp,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:10:21 PM
re: Dolce Starts Verivue
Riding a wave of good luck??? Did forget your name and not make eye contact in the hallway or something? Once is right-place-right-time, twice is great luck. 3 and 4 times is a track record. Count how many times his company sold (the one he founded or its purchaser) and he made money. How many people working for him also made money each time? Think of the talent he took with him, and has attracted with each successful event. JD's track record will attract great management, engineering staff, and sales force into Verivue. What appears to you as good luck appears to the rest of the world as good leadership. Good leadership and talent is what builds good companies and good products.

"Juniper still doesn't have a combined BRAS and Edge router like Redback."
I think you're mistaken here. Redback used to tout the phrase "We're not a router, we're a subscriber management system." Then came along Redstone/Unisphere which pretty much invented the broadband edge router, with a full routing protocol stack, mpls, multicast, 2547, etc, able to do both residential and business edge (POS, ATM, ChOC interfaces, etc), shipping for many years now. There were zero competitors of Broadband Edge Routers in the market for 4+ years and they took huge market share gains.

If Juniper is taking the product in a broadband-edge-only direction away from a combined edge-router/broadband router, this a function of Juniper's existing product line and direction, not JD.

And to paint JD as simply disruptive to Juniper, that the Unisphere acquisition as more about hype than substance or "success", seems to ignore the fact that Juniper claims 30+% of a $1B annual broadband router market with the JD product family. That's a bit more than Redback did as a standalone company, which, btw, as it's final announcement as a standalone company, lowered it's revenue expectations.
http://www.redback.com/Redback...

Finally, comparing Juniper to Redback in the same paragraph of saying JD's main gift is pumping his own brand is a bit of the pot calling the kettle black. Another former CEO who's last name starts with a 'D' comes to mind...


chook0
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chook0,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:10:19 PM
re: Dolce Starts Verivue
I know a few people who have worked relatively closely with Jim Dolce and, while not all of them like him, all of them speak of him with great respect (even awe) and all would work with him again.

To mne that's track record.

--chook
plumpy
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plumpy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:10:18 PM
re: Dolce Starts Verivue
l

I think your post needs some corrections. No, many corrections.
>Arris was a one year old startup that hadn't done >much of anything when Cascade bought it and made >him rich.
Arris had design wins with most North American dialup operators. When the Maury and his merry band of half wits cancelled the Arris project, there were some very stranded customers. They were forced to buy Ascend boxes and all of the
fires, failures, and fraud that went with them.
Arris dialup density was not matched for many years.

>He talked his way in to a senior exec role at >Cascade while the rode the wave of ATM buildout, >they they sold to Ascend.
Jim was at Cascade for about 3 months. He left after the Ascend acquisition. The Arris guys got screwed financially by a bad Cascade quarter and a
fraudulent share ratio in the Ascend buyout.

>Dolce then leveraged his success to start >Redstone which he sold to Siemens. They spun it >off as Unisphere which wasn't a success and then >Dolce sold it to Juniper.
The router part of Unisphere (E series) was a great success with several billions of sales and a large market share in the DSL market. He sold the company twice to boot.

>He and his people then proceeded to take over >much of Juniper causing a lot of turmoil and >delays in getting features on the right products.
Juniper would be another Extreme Networks without Dolce and the sales organization that built sales
to over $2 billion. Scottie boy Kriens, to his credit, made some very good Unisphere people into the heads of major parts of Juniper.

>Juniper still doesn't have a combined BRAS and >Edge router like Redback.
Quick: Tell Verizon. I think they have bought 300 million dollars of the wrong product.

>Then Dolce and his men started exiting Juniper >with lots of money from the stock.
You could not be more wrong. Scottie Kriens (with his "What Would Jim Do" bracelet) handed out 900 million dollars of back dated bargain options to mostly people before the Unisphere acqusition.

>Now he is back with a few of his buddies doing >something probably in the IPTV space.
Buddies that have started 9-10 companies of importance before Verivue. Funny how that works. List your CV here sometime. What have you done ?

>The kind of article linked below just fuels the >brand pumping and leads people to think that guys >like Dolce are really smart and not just very >lucky.
Brand pumping ? The best company in networking is cisco. What do you call that pig perfuming that they have done for 20 years ?

Next time you post, try to find out facts. You might better be called Mike Barnicle of Lightreading.
p

>http://www.lightreading.com/do...
putridrage2000
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putridrage2000,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:09:55 PM
re: Dolce Starts Verivue

>Arris had design wins with most North American dialup operators. When the Maury and his merry band of half wits cancelled the Arris project, there were some very stranded customers. They were forced to buy Ascend boxes and all of the
fires, failures, and fraud that went with them.
Arris dialup density was not matched for many years
>
Not so sure I agree with that, Arris had a carrier class architecture, but it was not ready for prime time when Ascend purchased Cascade, and there were not that many signature customers at that point (had there been, Cascade wouldn't have had to sell out to Ascend, and history as we know it would have been entirely different). Ascend simply "out marketed" Cascade with their TNT. The TNT was no more stable than the Arris box and took it's time to stabilize (which gets back to the "out-marketing" comment). Both products were not ready for prime time, but somehow Ascend was able to convince someone that the market would belong to them, and thus they were able to aquire Cascade. I'd love to know the back room details of why Cascade sold out to Ascend, given Cascade's Arris was targeting the TNT? I think after Ascend purchased Cascade, Ascend stock dropped by 70%. Remember, the whole "east coast - west coast" merger arguement that it wouldn't work.

Redstone was another good company for Dolce. Certainly the class of the Unisphere collection. JD took the Unisphere job at the right time....just as telecom was melting down.

I always though JD was great at seeing the future of the market. The Arris idea for carrier class remote access was extremely necessary, the Redstone idea was another good one. Getting on board with Unisphere at the time he did was another good idea. He obviously has a knack for picking the right horse at the right time.
lightreceding
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lightreceding,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 3:09:54 PM
re: Dolce Starts Verivue
Wow, so many Dolce fans. I guess I would like him more if he had made me rich.

Okay, so Dolce has a track record. Let's not deify him already. Success leads to success as everyone including VC's pile on after a bit of luck and scoring millions doesn't hurt.

The E-Series had some luck being a newer product when Redback was stalled by the merger with Siara and didn't move fast enough on their plans to integrate features on to the new platform after building their business on the SMS which was a PC/PCI system with some ATM interfaces and could not scale.

The edge routing features and density of the E-Series may be good for DSL aggregation but they are not ready for IPTV so Redback has the jump there with the SE800. I don't think that Verizon is using the E-Series for FiOS, just for basic DSL aggregation, so they may have bought a lot of E-Series but that is yesterdays news.

Yes Redback was not an edge router with the SMS but they are with the SE800 and once they added BRAS features to the SE800 they had a pretty good combined box that might play in IPTV if their Ethernet is cheap enough.

Juniper talks a big IPTV game but they have not done what it takes to deliver an edge product that can continue to play in that infrastructure as demands grow beyond the E-Series capabilities.

By the way I am not implying that Redback is a better company than Juniper or that DeNuccio is smarter than Dolce. I'll give Dolce the vote on that one. DeNuccio is another story with the debookings scandal after riding the wave of the CLEC bubble at Cisco and finally selling Redback after spending millions on consultants to get out of the bankruptcy after they could not sell their way out and wasted two years trying.

Maury is another case for the hall of shame. He and Ascend were aggressive at selling. They would promise features and deliver beta code and then promise fixes and string the customer along. That is how they stole the business.

When Lucent bought Ascend there were also many stranded and unhappy customers for the Livingston / Lucent Portmaster.

Then Maury got Rich McGinn to invest in Zhone and blow a wad of his own as well as Lucents and that made the news and reveal what he was really about after he had been featured on magazine covers and touted as a genius, and the rest is history.

As for Scott Kriens, he acts like he is a visionary but he can't seem to make up his mind. I would agree that Dolce helped to guide him and now he is flopping since Dolce is gone.

Each of these guys has their fans and they may have some skills and track record but they are hardly gods and some of them are down right scoundels, so I just don't like seeing articles that pump the cult of personality.

Dolce may have success with Verivue. He ought to. He has enough money and friends to help. He is probably learning a thing or two about IPTV over at RGB and mobile at Starent.

By the way Cisco has managed to create a legacy out of a few products but they still seem to be innovating and growing new markets. Not many companies do that after 20 years and it takes brand recognition to break in to SMB and consumer.

Mike Barnicle seems like an interesting character.

Sorry I won't be posting my CV.
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