Optical/IP Networks

Optisphere, Alidian Team Up

Optisphere Networks Inc., the Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) spinoff, has signed an agreement to resell metropolitan access gear made by Alidian Networks Inc., Light Reading has learned. The deal, which both companies confirmed today, will include the purchase of Alidian's OSN 4200 and OSN 4800 multiservice add/drop multiplexers and is valued at roughly $50 million.

Optisphere plans to buy the Alidian gear and then resell it under its own private label, the name of which hasn't yet been determined. Optisphere already sells ultralong-haul DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing), optical crossconnect, and metro transport gear.

San Jose, Calif.-based Alidian says its products are in trials with several carriers, but Optisphere is only the third customer that the firm has announced. Korea Internet Neutral Exchange Center, an outfit formed by 13 Korean Internet Service Providers, and Aevia Inc., a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in Walnut Creek, Calif., have also bought Alidian gear.

Alidian’s decision to produce hardware that's marketed under another company's brand is a unique one amongst optical equipment concerns. For its part, Alidian says large carriers would probably buy gear from, say, a Siemens company sooner than from a little-known startup. The firm's executives, several of whom hail from Premisys Communications (now Zhone Technologies Inc.), have a good deal of experience and success with such a behind-the-scenes business model.

"When you look at Lucent Technologies Inc.’s [NYSE: LU] purchase of Chromatis and Sycamore Networks Inc.’s [Nasdaq: SCMR] purchase of Sirocco, it seems they moved too quickly in deciding what technology to use in the metro space," says Robert M. Lefkowits, vice president of marketing at Alidian. "Our customers get to test out the market without either side having to make a huge bet."

- Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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johnjohn 12/4/2012 | 8:25:20 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up so what does this really mean...that optisphere's development team couldn't product it's own box or that alidian's marketing team stinks?
noone 12/4/2012 | 8:25:19 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up Could it mean a sleeping lion has awoken?
Opto-Prozac 12/4/2012 | 8:25:15 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up Kindly give me a break. Alidian has been bleeding headcount for the past many months (don't recognize half of their leadership these days), their current customers are non-customers, and I hear they are running out of money.

Another act of complete desparation.
DougP 12/4/2012 | 8:25:15 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up Alidian makes one of the hottest DWDM boxes around. Price per OC-48 is the lowest and that coupled with an ability to provision multi services yields a significant competitive edge.
Opto-Prozac 12/4/2012 | 8:25:13 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up Yeah - impeccable timing - the nearly bankrupt Alidian places those irritating red/green banner ads at the top of Light Reading 2 weeks before this flimsy announcement.

Does the ad price paid to LR also help defray corporate funeral services?
photon-pharmer 12/4/2012 | 8:25:13 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up I thought Luxn's DWDM was facilitating world peace....? DAMN, these chat boards can't get anything right!
light_me 12/4/2012 | 8:25:13 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up
So, what's with all the attacks on Alidian? I'd like to address every one of your points.

1) I can't say whether or not people are leaving Alidian, but I talked with my companie's HR dept today and they aren't seeing Alidian resumes. But HR isn't seeing a lot of resumes anyway right now, so what do I know?

2) As for their managment/leadership team, a quick browse through their website seems to indicate that the same folks are still leading the company. Where are you getting your information from - that Alidian's management/leadership is unrecognizable?

3) As for Alidian running out of money, again I have no idea about this. Rumor has it that they secured a significant amount of funding sometime in the fall 2000 time frame. Even if that money is dried up, it seems apparent to me that a $50M deal with Siemens/Optisphere would carry them through for a while. So again, where are you getting your information indicating that Alidian is about to go bankrupt? It's one thing to rant and say negative things about a competitor, but please back it up with facts. Can you provide definitive proof for your attacks? A website link? A press release?

I can tell you this, my company has seen Alidian in more than one contract bid. This must mean something. I guess time will tell if they or any of the other startups make it in this tough environment. Hey, I'm not exactly rooting for them because they have the potential to take business away from us - not an appealing thought to me. But these guys look like they might have something.
light_me 12/4/2012 | 8:25:11 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up
Hi Survivor,

Sorry to burst your bubble, but I don't work for Alidian. I will say that I DO work for a company in the metro space and AM in a position where I not only see competitors in bids, but track them on a regular basis.

Lastly, I don't think I listed any Alidian "virtues" per se, other than to say that I see them in several bids - just like I see Astral Point, Zapphire, ONI, LuxN, Nortel, and others. I am just trying to find out where Opto-Prozac gets his info. I took him to be a competitor, but heck, you might be right, he could be a former employee.

Do you have any good info on Alidian? Please share. :-)

If I Won Survivor... 12/4/2012 | 8:25:11 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up Opto-Prozac - former Alidian employee or unhappy competitor with too much time. All the same, one big axe to grind. Man - you need a real job.

Light_me - clearly someone from Alidian's leadership. Competitor? Not! Man - if my competitor listed off all of my virtues on a discussion board, I merge with them ASAP.

Who can give the real scoop on this company? This announcement looks like the same transparent distribution deal that a bunch of other metro companies have announced.

Is anyone going to Supercomm with some real news?
Opto-Prozac 12/4/2012 | 8:25:09 PM
re: Optisphere, Alidian Team Up Sorry to put your bubble back together again, but you do work for Alidian. C'mon, if you have been seeing Alidian in bids for the past 18 months, and they have not won any competitive ones, what scares you about them?

The fact is that ONI has captured a number of competitive bids several factors that of all the companies you cite below. Ooooooh - now I'm real scared about Alidian!!! You guys have been around way-too long not to have one any competitive business, and still to be regarded with fear at this point.

Just go back to your desk in San Jose and worry about the lack of commercial activity at Alidian.
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