IP protocols/software

Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

Metaswitch Networks has quietly built itself into a significant player in the IP convergence vendor market, drawing on its strengths in softswitches and data protocols. This morning, the U.K.-based company is trumpeting its intentions to build further by announcing the appointment of former Redback CEO Kevin DeNuccio as its new top executive.

Current CEO John Lazar becomes chairman, replacing Metaswitch founder Ian Ferguson, who remains on the board of directors.

This new leadership team is intended to take Metaswitch to the next level as a “significant player with global scope,” says Lazar.

DeNuccio, who has served on the Metaswitch board for two years, is known for building Redback Networks Inc. into a major player in the edge router business for which Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) was willing to pay $2.1 billion. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)’s Service Provider Division and helped build that unit’s revenues from $500 million to $4 billion in four years.

He expects to lead significant growth for Metaswitch as well, DeNuccio tells Light Reading.

“We have three product threads today, softswitch being one, where we are an industry leader, and then the applications space and the protocol division,” DeNuccio says. “We think we can double that to six product threads. We have the base and the ability to enter multiple product areas.”

Two immediate areas of expansion are into the mobile arena, through expansion of existing products into that space, and into broader global sales. Metaswitch recently announced a series of sales in the Asia/Pacific region and is also making significant program in the Latin American region, recently signing a Tier 1 service provider, DeNuccio says.

But most of the growth will be built on Metaswitch’s core values of "people strength, engineering strength, and a strong financial foundation." Metaswitch doesn’t want to become a telecom vendor powerhouse, built through consolidation, that then struggles to innovate, DeNuccio added.

“Today, the industry is in a significant consolidation phase, but only a few of the large vendors are viewed as successful. The danger of some very large players having serious problems -- à la what happened to Nortel -- is a very real phenomenon. The innovation the industry needs is not happening.”

Instead, DeNuccio plans to build on Metaswitch’s strengths in the IP world to organically grow its own product lines, taking advantage of its position in the softswitch industry and its newer MetaSphere Application Feature Server to explore new opportunities as networks and applications become more entwined.

“Social networking and the mobile Internet and smart phones are going to drive a generation of change that leaves of a lot of opportunities for us. Today, we sell through a lot of other players with software. We provide our software to 10 of the top 10 telecom equipment providers. As the networks converge, you will see us go directly into that space.”

Another key focus will be helping service providers capitalize on the information they already have to design and implement new services, DeNuccio says.

“If you look at the carriers today, they have an enormous amount of information embedded in the network they need to capitalize on to compete with top players. It is an IP challenge, to build products that can tap all of that data and massage it and create revenue-generating products for the carrier social networking.

Metaswitch believes it is uniquely positioned to develop applications for the converged IP infrastructure because of where the company is now positioned but also because of its approach, Lazar notes.

“I think we are unique in that we understand the infrastructural issues really well. We have a really good understanding of how you build scalable IP networks that migrate from legacy,” says Lazar. “We have also been innovative at the applications layer, being one of the players that understand that subscribers are now looking at things from a plethora of different devices -- laptop, TV, iPad, or next-generation business phone -- and all they want is a converged, integrated way of getting to all their services.”

Don’t expect to see Metaswitch go on a major acquisition jag, however, according to Lazar. "Our management philosophy has always been to be careful and judicious, so we will look at what we need to do, but we won’t go on a huge spending spree."

In fact, Metaswitch is very content being a mid-sized company -- smaller than the industry behemoths but much larger and more financially sound than industry startups that have generated much of the innovation in recent years, according to Lazar.

“We think the marketplace needs smaller companies with this kind of engineering expertise,” DeNuccio says.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 4:43:16 PM
re: Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

interesting that three posters - namely, jstleger, magagzon and blueskynet, all posting for the first time on the lr board - have come out positive on the denuccio announcement, while all the monkeys with the bananas (self included) question this decision.

wonder if these posters are all one and the same person, if they are sequoia shills, or the metaswitch pr department?

odo &lt;-- who feels this meta comment about posters is kinda apropos.

photon2 12/5/2012 | 4:43:14 PM
re: Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

Good points on the posters and bananas....last point, Metaswitch actually seems has some cool momentum going for it.&nbsp; I think the issue here, is that DeNuccio might kill that, vs it being a good hire.&nbsp; Of all the people out there right now, this company could have chosen better, that's all....


KUDOS 12/5/2012 | 4:43:13 PM
re: Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

Great to see a British Company making serious inroads into the American Market.

Hats off to you all and congratulations !!!

Tesla_x 12/5/2012 | 4:43:12 PM
re: Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

Tier 2/3 is the US market for the forseeable future for Metaswitch.

If they are able to work through partners like Occam and their VARs, I think they'd be fine.

They are also making inroads in Canada, and that bears watching.

There will be much stim/investment in the small/med IOC market in the US over the next several years, so I think there is plenty of opportunity for anyone established (like OCNW/Calix) or selling with an established partner (Metaswitch) into the market.


databoy12 12/5/2012 | 4:43:12 PM
re: Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

This is the point, DeNuccio can only harm MetaSwitch in the American market.&nbsp; Check the track record, its not pretty!&nbsp; How many RBOC's do you see purchasing new Redback(Ericsson) equipment today?&nbsp; RBOC's and DeNuccio don't mix.

rahat.hussain 12/5/2012 | 4:43:11 PM
re: Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

@kudos: kudos for making my point (a couple of posts down).


@lr: i think i have earned an extra banana. how long do i sit on three bananas?


odo &lt;-- who is mighty proud of the bananas (and the meta-theory re: metaswitch)

goundan 12/5/2012 | 4:43:09 PM
re: Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

Phil McConnell &amp; the EBT will rue this hire in due time. Lets get some popcorn and grab prime time seats. Time to watch a good company go bad.

upand2theright 12/5/2012 | 4:42:51 PM
re: Redbacker DeNuccio Becomes Metaswitch CEO

Haters, please.

I worked with DeNuccio at Cisco and Redback. His work at both companies was more than solid. &nbsp; Flipped a bankrupt Redback to Ericsson for $2.1B. &nbsp; Helped grow Cisco's service provider business from zero to several billions per year. &nbsp;

Yes, there is no certainty DeNuccio can do the same for Metaswitch. &nbsp;Christ, most turnarounds fail. &nbsp;But can anybody name me another Cisco exec than has enjoyed more success doing a turn-around??? &nbsp;Giancarlo, Kennedy, Listwin, Nuti, Russo, Volpi??? &nbsp;

I like DeNuccio because he moves fast. &nbsp;Holds people accountable. &nbsp;Rewards results. &nbsp;He also has no problem firing friends who don't perform. &nbsp;DeNuccio is not a back-slapper or a rah-rah guy. &nbsp; But he's smart, fair and fun.

I would judge him going forward by his results and who he hires to do the turnaround with him. In first six months, I expect Metaswitch will measured and re-tooled around mobility and IP. &nbsp;New management team. &nbsp;New customer focus. New product focus. &nbsp; If I am a Metaswitch employee or investor, your future looks up and to the right.




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