ADTRAN Connect 2011: Technology Focus Remains Consistent
If there’s one word The VAR Guy can use to describe ADTRAN, it’s consistent (although steadfast is a close second). At its annual CONNECT press and analyst event, ADTRAN has shown its propensity for consistency by not changing its message from the previous year’s event. And that’s a good thing. Here’s why:
When Gary Bolton, vice president of Global Marketing, took the stage on day one, his message was familiar to attendees of CONNECT 2010: ADTRAN is focusing on the inflection points that are driving technology — cloud, broadband and mobility. To that end, in the enterprise space ADTRAN is working on offering stellar products and services that address cloud connectivity, enterprise communications (including unified communications) and virtual mobility.
At first glance, those three areas are no-brainers for any networking vendor worth its salt. But, as Bolton pointed out, those three areas taken together constitute the total communications solution within the enterprise.
“Cloud connectivity is about enabling a company to connect to the cloud; enterprise communications focuses on those technologies within [the] company that allow us to be more productive; and virtual mobility enables complete endpoint freedom across the enterprise,” he said. “IT doesn’t own the device anymore, and ADTRAN has done a great job putting the industry and ourselves in position to take advantage of these changes.”
ADTRAN’s vision fundamentally hasn’t strayed from the one it put forth in 2010, and has been working steadily toward achieving that vision, oftentimes moving under the radar, it would seem. The company’s notable lack of speed in entering certain markets could be perceived as a flaw (ADTRAN is never first to market with anything), but The VAR Guy actually sees as a strength. As the turtle said to the hare, Slow and steady wins the race.
“We are a practical company we look at markets in a pragmatic way — if you do the right things and come out with products that make sense in markets you know will be there, ultimately you gain market share,” said ADTRAN CEO Tom Stanton. “We tend not to be in markets that are speculative. If you are good at that, then even in bad times we do okay. It’s a longer term view in which we look at market — we expect to do well five years from now, not two years from now. Having that perspective, we can hold the focus when other companies drop off.”
And that makes a lot of sense. ADTRAN may not have the flash or panache of some of its competitors, but it also doesn’t have a lot of money wasted on technologies that never catch on in the market or, worse, never see the light of day.