Major change is afoot at Oculan.

Robert Davis III, who took over as the acting chief executive officer at Oculan in December, was named the firm’s permanent CEO on Wednesday. The move is just one of many involving the startup as it gears to launch a variety of new initiatives.

“We have other additions to the management team, and we are making a strategic shift in the company,” company spokesman Darrek Porter told Local Tech Wire. “We’re making a number of changers in operations and products, which we will announce in the next several weeks.”

Asked if all the changes means Oculan also is raising a new round of financing, he said, “We will be making an announcement.”

Once all the changes are in place, Porter said, “We’re looking for an explosive growth year.”

The company, which provides network management and security gear under the lead product known as OpticNerve, has been refocusing and repositioning itself since company founder and CEO Steve Giles stepped down late last year.

Shooting for ‘next level’

Davis was brought in by the company’s board with a “mandate to take the company to the next level,” Porter said. “It was up to him to do so.” Davis served as president and CEO of Tavve Software. He also was vice president and general manager of IBM/Tivoli Systems and a vice president of Lucent.

“The management team has been working through all these issues since December,” Porter said. The results of those deliberations will become clear in coming weeks, he added. Among those is likely to be a new product.

Oculan, which was founded in 2001, introduced OpticNerve in July of 2001 and aggressively created numerous sales channels for the appliance, which is geared from small to medium sized businesses. Oculan already has more than 150 channel partners and Porter said, “Our revenues are on a strong upward curve.”

The industry rapidly embraced Oculan, which was nominated for 21 of the 25 “best of show” awards at four leading technology trade shows and industry events in its first year. It won 13 of those, including Best New Networking Technology, Best New Company and Best Channel Strategy.

Time to retool

But Porter also said the market “was a little different” now. “We had a great first year.

“We are the typical startup,” he added. “We needed to tinker with the business plan, to correct what we knew we could do better, to develop a strategic plan, and we are doing so with the full support of our funders.”

A key part in Oculan’s go-forward strategy is Davis, who also joins the board.

“We are thrilled that Robert agreed to join Oculan as it enters a very important stage of its growth and development,” said chairman John Beletic in a statement. “Robert has a tremendous track record of running high-growth, sales-focused companies that are developing new, high potential markets. In our view, he’s another differentiator for Oculan and the perfect individual to lead the company.”

Soros Private Equity Partners invested $5 million in Oculan in July, the company’s third round of financing.