IP Infusion Goes All-In
The company -- a subsidiary of Access Co. Ltd. -- is formally announcing its Network Solutions Services business today, but really, it's been working along those lines for more than six months. With a team of 100 engineers in Nanjing, China, the company says it's ready to take up the outsourcing load for every aspect of a system's design, back to the very earliest steps, such as selection of chipsets.
That's quite a departure from just offering the ZebOS networking software, which has been IP Infusion's approach since being incorporated in 1999. The company's ambitions have outgrown the protocol-stack business, says Shane Rigby, vice president of sales.
"We could continue to just license ZebOS to customers, but that doesn't really get us to our revenue goals," Rigby says. "This is the way the business is going," he adds, referring to the trend for OEMs to outsource bigger chunks of their development.
"In the past six months, we have seen more demand from customers for complete" product development, says Frank Nguyen, IP Infusion's vice president of engineering operations. Nguyen, one of IP Infusion's first employees, is heading up the engineering team behind Network Solutions Services.
Like a lot of companies selling chips or software, IP Infusion describes itself as a headstart for equipment vendors, providing a nuts-and-bolts element that's required but not particularly special -- MPLS and carrier Ethernet software, for instance. By buying that software off-the-shelf, an OEM can save time and, theoretically, free up engineers to work on more valuable tasks.
But OEMs have fewer engineers these days, meaning they're outsourcing more of their engineering work -- which is why IP Infusion thinks it has a shot at design services. "A lot of customers say they want fast time-to-market, but they don't have the experience to develop all the technology themselves," Rigby says.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading