Movaz Moves Up

Movaz Networks Inc. has emerged from beta tests of its optical transport switch and is set to start gathering revenue within the next three months, the company announced today.

Movaz is announcing general availability of RAYexpress, an 8-wavelength optical add/drop mux for small central offices that handles Sonet/SDH and gigabit Ethernet traffic in metro applications and supports Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS).

The startup says it's got five trials in place for this product, two in the Asia-Pacific region and three in North America. In Europe, a carrier is running live OC48 (2.5 Gbit/s) traffic to two Swiss banks using Movaz's gear. Neither this customer nor the prospective ones can be named, says CEO Bijan Khosravi.

"We are in later-stage negotiations with five of these carriers. We expect to start generating revenue from all of them within thirty to sixty days," he says, asserting that the sixth European carrier is already generating revenue for Movaz.

Khosravi says Movaz's other key platform, the RAYstar, a 320-wavelength box with dynamic routing and switching, is going into beta trials this month.

The news is like other Movaz announcements -- brash and well timed. After emerging from stealth mode last summer with news that it had its components covered (see Movaz on the Move), the firm wasted no time broadcasting its alpha trials (see Movaz Completes Alpha Trials) and making a big noise about its $92 million funding at SuperComm (see Movaz Makes a Splash).

Subsequent announcements have included a manufacturing deal with outsourcer Flextronics International (Nasdaq: FLEX) (see Movaz, Flextronics Power RAYs) and an agreement to purchase tunable lasers from Bandwidth9 Inc. (see Movaz, Bandwidth9 In Tune).

But the ongoing market downturn has taken its toll on Movaz, just as it has on the rest of the optical world. Khosravi confirms that the startup's taken steps over the past couple of months to reduce its sizeable burn rate and preserve its cash.

Movaz employees, including management, have taken salary cuts -- up to 20 percent for the most highly paid. Expenses have been slashed, resulting in some canceled prototypes. Many contractors that started with the company weren't kept on once their work was complete.

And about 3 to 5 percent of the fulltime staff has been let go. Movaz now has 245 fulltime employees and roughly 20 to 30 contractors, says Khosravi, who was once VP of marketing for Siara, a startup acquired by Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) (see Redback's Khosravi Question Answered).

There have been other disappointments. A lab trial at Genuity Inc. (Nasdaq: GENU), which was a pivotal claim in Movaz's SuperComm campaign, has come to naught. Khosravi isn't talking too much about that.

But he knows that the next six months will decide Movaz's fate. Much depends on the outcome of the present trials and on the success of the RAYstar, set to be the company's high-end flagship.

Khosravi's planning for success. The layoffs and other cost-cutting measures have had the desired effect, he insists, and the company can count on having plenty of cash "through the second half of 2002." Despite the recent layoffs, Movaz is hiring salespeople for its North American operations. Sales in Europe and Asia will be handled through resellers.

Movaz also has taken steps to get its Osmine certification from Telcordia Technologies Inc. (see Telcordia's Osmine Goldmine). And unlike other startups that acknowledge "biting the bullet" to get past the Osmine ordeal, Khosravi says he's thrilled with it. And he's got a typically spunky claim: An upcoming announcement of GMPLS-compatible software, he says, will give Movaz some needed traction with RBOCs and prove Telcordia to be stronger than ever in the telecom management market.

Jawboning aside, Movaz is clearly at a crossroads. It's facing stiff competition from other startups, such as Edgeflow Inc., which appears to be gaining traction as well. The technical, financial, and organizational challenges are keen.

But Khosravi's got bravado to spare. "As the market shakes out, one or two will be left standing and will make it very big," he says. "We will be one."

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
BudLite 12/4/2012 | 7:33:07 PM
re: Movaz Moves Up
Any ideas on what technology Movaz is using for its RAYexpress OADM? Are they doing photonic add/drop or converting to electrical? At just 8 wavelengths, I assume it's not the 3D MEMS technology that they are developing with BF Goodrich. I assume that the 3D MEMS technology will likely debut in the RAYstar product.
eieio 12/4/2012 | 7:32:57 PM
re: Movaz Moves Up So I visit the Movaz website and notice that they have Johnson Agabuba listed as a Director. If memory serves me right this is the same guy that ran BBO to the ground. One can only imagine what this brilliant savant is upto at moveaz.
alexchilton 12/4/2012 | 7:32:53 PM
re: Movaz Moves Up If my memory serves me, Johnson was the guy who thought, "Maybe the MPLS thing would be good for traffic engineering?GÇ¥ I don't know about BBO, but I wouldn't slag him so quickly. Unless, of course, you want to blast the ietf work.

skeptic 12/4/2012 | 7:32:52 PM
re: Movaz Moves Up Movaz's future is really questionable. They
are spending huge amounts of money trying to do
too many things at once and not doing any of them
all that well. Their "revenue" product is (i think)
an MPLS-enabled ADM. Their big product is a
mess and everyone knows something bad happened
with Genuity (but nobody knows what). It would
have been better for the long-term if they had
focused on a specific product than going with
the scattershot approach.

But its always difficult to see how these things
will turn out. A couple years ago, they would
probably have sold for billions to nortel. And
if the can generate some revenue, they still might
manage to sell themselves before the whole thing

As far as Agabuba goes, he was important with
regard to MPLS because of where he was (UUNET),
not necessarly because his own ideas (as opposed
to those of vendors or others) were all that

poster 12/4/2012 | 7:32:48 PM
re: Movaz Moves Up could someone explain the value proposition for an 8 lambda ADM with GMPLS? I don't get it. to me it seems like you need to be either an intelligent switch (with G-MPLS functionality) that is seperated from the optical transport function, OR, a specialized transport system with optimized optics, etc. - not both. impossible for a startup to do both things well. and if the transport function is integrated with this box then there's no way they'll compete with an ONI or a CIENA, who have products focused just on the transport function.

looking more closely, this article claims they have an EDFA as well. has to be an off the shelf subsystem. SONET and GbE interfaces - which means they are an OEO switch. which is interesting considering all of the effort they been devoting to an OOO solution - with the exclusive BF goodrich mirror partnership etc. a 320 lambda switch as well? is that density and application justified today? I have to believe that the only cost effective way to do that is an OOO architecture.

from the outside, and I'm definitely on the outside, it looks like they are running in about 4 different directions. if so, certain death awaits. the kicker the claim that G-MPLS compatible software (which is supposedly also almost complete somehow?) will give them credibility with the RBOCs and the Telcordia process? I'm confused. what does an unproven, yet to-be-deployed technology have to do with Telcordia and the osmine process - the longest, most expensive, most drawn out bureaucratic process any systems company can go through? let alone a startup. something sounds fishy here...

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