Tazz Welcomes May in June

Policy management system firm Tazz Networks Inc. has appointed a new CEO and confirmed the new $6 million round of funding Light Reading reported several weeks ago (see Tazz Pockets Another $6M).

The new man at the helm is Andy May, previously of 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS), Paradyne Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: PDYN), where he was CEO, and most recently mesh networking vendor Millennial Net Inc., where he was also CEO.

May says he has been brought in to provide CEO experience as the company grows during the course of the next year. "Dan Lowe, the founder, has been a great leader in the past three years, but he doesn't have CEO experience, which is what this company needs right now," May says. "The market and Tazz's solution are coming together, putting the company in a fortunate position, but it needs an expanded management team."

The market for policy management systems, which communicate with a myriad of network access elements including DSLAMs, B-RASs, softswitches, and video servers, is growing because carriers need these systems to manage the increasing service and bandwidth demands placed on their networks by broadband subscribers, says Graham Beniston, analyst at large at Heavy Reading.

Policy managers "play a key part in the automation of service delivery and service upgrades, including allowing customers to alter their service packages themselves, including in real time," says Beniston. "For example, if a broadband customer wants to increase their bandwidth allocation for a particular time period, the policy decides whether the bandwidth is available, and also provides billing reconciliation so the carriers are billing correctly."

The analyst says most of the major equipment vendors have their own in-house developed policy servers or software, such as Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) with its SDX-300 (originally developed by Unisphere), but non-proprietary solutions are becoming increasingly important (see Unisphere Unveils SDX).

"These systems are useful just for high-speed Internet access services, but will really come into their own as more services and subscribers are added. This is the high ground of DSL -- it's all about getting useful services to people."

That's key to carriers' future plans -- hence the inclusion of Tazz's technology in Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) 21CN system for BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), a carrier with which Tazz has a long relationship (see BT's 21CN: Metro Partners Under Wraps and BT, Tazz Team on IP Services).

May says that having a close relationship with Cisco is about as good as it gets when you're trying to get your company's technology into the world's top 100 carriers, which is one of the chief business goal for the new CEO. But "there are other companies that can help us achieve that, and we'll be attempting more partnerships with major vendors to reach our target market."

May says that Europe and North America provide the bulk of the opportunities in the next 12 months, during which time Tazz's current staffing level of about 50 will grow significantly, particularly in terms of senior executives and product support staff. "We've got a lot of product requests and opportunities to deal with," he says.

So why was May chosen for the role? Apart from his track record as a CEO, he's well known to Tazz's investors. May says he knows the partners at BlueStream Ventures and Pilot House Ventures from his previous roles, and is good friends with one of the original investment team from Lazard Technology Partners. Given Tazz's latest funding round, those investors have firmly put their trust in May to get the company ramped up.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

chollida 12/5/2012 | 3:12:39 AM
re: Tazz Welcomes May in June I am wondering why Cisco has abandoned the Cisco Subscriber Edge Service Manager in place of an OEM? Will we see Juniper abandon the SDX300 in the same way? What is wrong with the home grown policy BRAS managers?
shailesh_patwardhan 12/5/2012 | 3:12:09 AM
re: Tazz Welcomes May in June I guess that's the case,
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