Christchurch switch maker thrives as rivals bleed

Telco equipment makers might be bleeding money all over the place but not Allied Telesyn in Christchurch.

Telco equipment makers might be bleeding money all over the place but not Allied Telesyn in Christchurch.

The company, which has headquarters in Tokyo and Seattle, is pressing ahead with plans to expand its facility for the design of layer 3 switches.

Managing director Geoff Peck, above, says the company is in the process of hiring more than 30 graduates who will push its head count to more than 200 next year.

“There were 25 people in the company two years ago,” says Peck, who can trace his career back to the DSIR in Gracefield, where the foundations for Allied Telesyn’s present switch range were laid.

“That was nearly 20 years ago. We were working on the genesis of the products we’re making now.”

That predated network market leader Cisco, says Peck.

Not that he wants to be compared with Cisco, and competitors Nortel, Alcatel and Lucent, all of which have suffered huge financial reversals in the past 12 months. Nortel alone lost $50 billion in its past two financial quarters.

“We’re having a pretty good year, not that we’re being complacent or glib about it.”

Peck says while over-capacity is widespread in the telco market, Allied Telesyn is doing business with those that are moving into data services.

“Ethernet-everywhere has really taken hold in the past year,” he says.

The attraction is price-performance, in which gigabit ethernet has a four-fold advantage over ATM.

“It’s a new paradigm; you can’t think of it in terms of ATM streams anymore. Successful telcos are doing ethernet.”

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