x
Carrier WiFi

Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up

Wireless LAN switch startup Vivato Inc. has laid off around 10 percent of its workforce and tweaked its management team in a bid to "rebalance the company" as it works on developing faster versions of its 802.11 product.

Vivato has laid off between 10 and 14 employees across all departments, Phil Belanger, the company's VP of marketing told Unstrung. Around 90 people remain, he says.

Vivato co-founder Skip Crilly has stepped down as CTO to become the firm's chief scientist. The CTO position is being filled by Marcus da Silva, formerly the firm's VP of engineering. Dave Roth [ed. note: no relation to the lead singer of Van Halen] is the new VP of hardware engineering; and Jim Thompson [ed. note: no relation to the crime author] is VP for software development.

Belanger says that the company had to make the changes in order to focus on new product development and to be "more fiscally responsible." The "rebalancing of the company" will involve adding more sales and marketing types, Belanger explained. Some of the engineers that had worked on the original switch product "have been left behind."

"One of the things we did when we started the company is grow out a huge engineering team... We were thin on sales and marketing," he says. "We're still thin on sales and marketing."

Vivato has just scored $44.5 million in its third round of funding (see Vivato Raises $44.5M). Belanger says the firm's investors helped to prompt the changes at the company. "We had to show our investors that we were going to behave responsibly with this new round."

Vivato was the first startup to announce that it was producing a wireless LAN switch back in November 2002 (see Vivato Plans Ambitious WLAN). The company has taken a different approach from most of its rivals in this new market. It employs a single box equipped with a "smart antenna" to boost the range and capacity of the 802.11b standard (11-Mbit/s over 2.4Ghz) so that it can cover large areas indoors or out, rather than the distributed switch and multiple access point systems pushed by others in this market (see Vivato's Switch Bitch for more on this).

Belanger says Vivato's new products will still use "smart antenna" technology but are being built around a new chipset and will support the faster 802.11g standard (54-Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) and eventually 802.11a (54-Mbit/s over 5Ghz) (see Vivato's Silicon Sugar Daddy). The company intends to reveal more details about its new product line in the fall.

However, Belanger refuted suggestions that Vivato has ditched its initial b products. "Absolutely not, we're just finally... ramping up production right now." The company, he asserts, has cleared its backlog of orders for indoor units, but still has a two-month backlog on units intended for outdoor wireless access.

The firm will introduce a two-port access point, designed to connect to its existing switch, in September.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

Page 1 / 4   >   >>
panthera 12/4/2012 | 11:36:03 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up From an outsiders perspective following the latest news from the leaders of WiFi(I thought Vivato was a leader at one point), Vivato must of realized that their solution was too costly, a "B" only solution, and had limited applications. Reading and listening to the reviews of their WiFi switch, consensous is that the performance sucks, and the panel did not meet the companies original claims for capacity. They probably saw a drop off in sales and needed to make immediate decisions to try to stop the VC from recalling their money. What that new solution is, remains to be seen. I can't imagine that it will be out within the next couple months though. I think Vivato has some tough times ahead. The Aruba offering is now appearing to be the right one. Aruba can concentrate on select areas, centrally manage them, and expand it quite easily, and the capacity scales. The Vivato panel does provides the range, but I've heard the installation process is nightmareish. It consists of massive site surveys and alot of trial-n-error. So the shakedown appeared to hit the engineering team which worked on their original product. How can Belenger refute the claim that they are abandoning it? obviously there won't be any improvements made to it.

Pan


wifi_passion 12/4/2012 | 11:35:59 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up "The firm will introduce a two-port access point, designed to connect to its existing switch, in September"
Confusing. Why two-port AP, when they have a switch panel that can cover 4 Miles?
wirelesseverywhere 12/4/2012 | 11:35:51 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up Pan,

<reading and="" capacity.="" claims="" companies="" consensous="" did="" for="" is="" listening="" meet="" not="" of="" original="" panel="" performance="" reviews="" sucks,="" switch,="" that="" the="" their="" to="" wifi="">

These guys are trying to solve a difficult problem. Could it be that the issues you mention are normal growing pains? Or are you talking about something fundamentally wrong with their WiFi switch?

<the alot="" and="" appearing="" areas,="" aruba="" be="" but="" can="" capacity="" centrally="" concentrate="" consists="" does="" easily,="" expand="" heard="" i've="" installation="" is="" it="" manage="" massive="" nightmareish.="" now="" of="" offering="" on="" one.="" panel="" process="" provides="" quite="" range,="" right="" scales.="" select="" site="" surveys="" the="" them,="" to="" trial-n-error.="" vivato="">

One system seems to be better for outdoors and other for indoors. It this an apples and oranges comparison? Do Vivato and Aruba compete directly?

<so abandoning="" any="" appeared="" are="" be="" belenger="" can="" claim="" engineering="" hit="" how="" improvements="" it.="" it?="" made="" obviously="" on="" original="" product.="" refute="" shakedown="" team="" that="" the="" their="" there="" they="" to="" which="" won't="" worked="">

100 people is a lot of people for company this size. Could it be these guys are using third party chipsets and software for next generation system and don't need some of the staff?

It is a pretty cool architecture - assuming the Vivato guys can make it work in a cost effective way. I wish them luck.

Everywhere</so></the></reading>
wirelesseverywhere 12/4/2012 | 11:35:50 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up ""The firm will introduce a two-port access point, designed to connect to its existing switch, in September""

Sounds like their bridge/router product.

"Confusing. Why two-port AP, when they have a switch panel that can cover 4 Miles?""

Isn't 4 miles the outdoor range? Coverage in a normal in-building environment with walls and studs and meshes with lots of multi-path issues is an entirely different topic.

Everywhere
wap545 12/4/2012 | 11:35:39 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up It is amazing to me that so many experts can comment on something they know so little about.
1. 802.11b, is and will remain the major player in this WLAN space for awhile. Look at what Intel deployed in its Centrino Laptops. It (802.11b)is not competing with anything else (ie.Narrowband 3g) in this space to deliver 4-6 mbps to subscribers.
2. 802.11a and g (new 54Mbps Radios) are here and active as we speak and will eventually replace the "b" version.
3. The company Vivato's is primarily a Unique Smart Antenna (Phased Array) with a built in Ethernet Switch that can extend the reach and throughput of a circuit based on any new radio they select (or the market selects)to use.

I have not seen anything that is more potentially disruptive (if proven in trials)to a Market Sector as this product. Certainly scares hell out of the big Wireless Carriers that have $$$$$$$ tied up in Licensed Spectrum, as well as many new/emerging Wireless Radios like Aruba and others attempting to play in this new HotSpot/WLAN space.

Jim
panthera 12/4/2012 | 11:35:38 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up Everywhere.

Your obviously a employee of Vivato, since
you know the internals of the architecture(s)

but look at it from my angle.

it's expensive and doesn't work!

could this be the reason why you have no
direct competition? You really don't think
that this was something new? Phased array has
been around since the 50's!


pan
panthera 12/4/2012 | 11:35:37 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up jacomo

Obvoiusly hit a soar spot with you.
Your the only one claiming to be an expert to me.

Sure, Vivato's product can be classified
as "disruptive", big deal. Would you go
start a business plan around it... I bet not!

The problem with range is...obsticles. like
buildings...trees... etc. that creates holes.
All I'm saying is that when you analyse the
installations, it's probably more cost
effective to use a solution like Aruba.

how many farmers do you think are going to
light up their cow fields?

pan
wirelesseverywhere 12/4/2012 | 11:35:22 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up Pan,

>Your obviously a employee of Vivato, since
you know the internals of the architecture(s)

I don't think I said anything that one can't pick up from public information. I am not going to confirm of deny any suggestions on who you think I am.

> but look at it from my angle.

I do not know what your angle is. Customer? Installer? Competitor? Something else?

> You really don't think
that this was something new? Phased array has
been around since the 50's!

Regardless of the roots of the technology, Vivato is the first company to put of this class of products for 802.11. Isn't it? There are some chip guys solving similar problems but that stuff is probably a year away. So, Vivato is blazing a new path here. As the saying goes, pioneers have arrows on their backs.

Everywhere
wirelesseverywhere 12/4/2012 | 11:35:21 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up Pan,

>The problem with range is...obsticles. like
buildings...trees... etc. that creates holes.

Absolutely true!

> All I'm saying is that when you analyse the
installations, it's probably more cost
effective to use a solution like Aruba.

Who is deploying Aruba for outdoor apps?

> how many farmers do you think are going to
light up their cow fields?

This is an interesting discussion. What exactly is the business case for a $10k phased array system? Can this solution really be used indoors? How big is the outdoor market?

Everywhere
xjp 12/4/2012 | 11:35:15 PM
re: Vivato: Shaken & Stirred Up "There are some chip guys solving similar problems but that stuff is probably a year away"

Yes, there are stealth mode companies working on this stuff at a chip level. Vivato is probably working with them to reduce product cost and development cost.
Page 1 / 4   >   >>
HOME
Sign In
SEARCH
CLOSE
MORE
CLOSE