The battle to become the Leading Lights Private Company of the Year has been one of the most hotly contested during the 13 years of the awards program's history, as the shortlist always highlights those up-and-coming companies likely to either have realistic dreams of an IPO or be snapped up by a larger player within the coming year or two.
A case in point: The 2015 winner, data center interconnect (DCI) systems vendor BTI Systems, was acquired by Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) in 2016. (See Juniper Flies Into DCI With BTI Acquisition.)
The winner will be announced at the Leading Lights Awards dinner on Monday, May 15, at Brazos Hall in Austin, Texas. On the following day, the Big Communications Event opens its doors for two days of learning, networking and fun.
To find out which companies were shortlisted across all of this year's Leading Lights categories, please check out this story. (See Leading Lights 2017: The Finalists.)
So let's take a look at our finalists.
Greenwave is a specialist in an increasingly important area – the management of secure IoT networks.
Its AXON Platform, which was enhanced during the past year by the addition of analytics capabilities from strategic acquisition Predixion Software, enables the management of multiple IoT devices and protocols while implementing security capabilities, in turn enabling service providers to develop and offer revenue-generating IoT services to their customers.
Those capabilities have attracted big name customers, including Verizon and Frontier Communications, and enabled the company to boost its year-on-year revenues by 80% and achieve profitability.
- Verizon Drops Its Quantum Router, Hints at IoT
- How Greenwave Systems Plays a Key Role in the IoT Ecosystem
SpiderCloud is an already familiar name to many in the wireless small cell sector, where it has been innovating and picking up high profile customers, including América Móvil, Verizon Wireless and Vodafone, for several years, despite fierce competition from larger rivals.
The specialist has continued to innovate its platform, which is focused on enabling mobile operators to efficiently and easily deliver quality wireless services to enterprises and venues, as the race to build up dense, small cell-based networks that support macro cellular infrastructures heats up. That ongoing success has drawn increasing attention to SpiderCloud, which is hotly tipped as an acquisition target in the near future.
Cloud-based CRM/BSS software Vlocity has made an impact in the past year, signing up significant service provider customers, doubling its customer base and revenues and securing new funding.
The company, which provides cloud-based back office applications that improve accuracy and efficiency in sales, billing, contract management and other customer-centric processes, is enabling the digital transformation strategies at customers such as Telecom Argentina, H3G Europe, Cellcom, KPN, T-Mobile Netherlands, TELUS and Sky Italia.
In late 2016 it secured a new funding round lead by Sutter Hill Ventures but also including its stakeholder and key partner, Salesforce. Its other investors include Accenture, Kennet Partners and TDF Ventures.
- Cellcom Turns to the Cloud for Its Latest CRM Strategy
- Salesforce Targets CSPs With New Cloud Framework
- Vlocity Raises $50M
— Ray Le Maistre, , International Group Editor, Light Reading