Editor’s note: Charlotte Beat is a regular feature on Wednesdays.Talk about timing. On Sept. 11, 2001, End II End Communications was one week old. Co-founders John Dwyer and Mark Phillippi held their first company meeting that day at the equally new Ballantyne Resort Hotel in Charlotte. And when they walked out of the meeting to see the devastation at the World Trade Center, they knew the world had changed.
But that didn’t stop them.
Recalls Dwyer, the chief executive officer, “We turned to each other and said, ‘Let’s give it our best.'”
Their best has turned out to be pretty darn good. End II End delivers secure broadband services via satellite, had $1.1 million in revenues in 2002 and was cash positive without any outside investments. This year, the company plans to focus on sales and marketing efforts. Now with 12 employees, it moved into new facilities this week (located on the former Microsoft campus in Charlotte) and is getting ready to debut a new website on May 15 to roll out its new logo and tagline, ‘Extend Your Enterprise.’
Dwyer, 35, and Phillippi, 42, who is the chief information officer, met while both worked in IT at Xerox. “When we would help companies with their issues, we found that branch offices were always the neglected part of networks,” Dwyer says. “We felt the itch that we could do things bigger and better, and so we have developed a software system to help branch offices communicate with their headquarters in a simple, secure, efficient and cost effective way.”
End II End’s patent pending Broadband Network Optimization (BNO) Process maximizes the throughput of any data connection, increasing data communications bandwidth to remote branch offices. It can be deployed to either replace an existing frame relay network or to supplement a company’s present WAN infrastructure and provide redundancy. In addition, it uses the highest level of encryption currently available, enhancing security and simplifying management across the entire network, according to Dwyer.
Dwyer says End II End’s BON Process is the only IPSec compliant virtual private network on the market to operate over broadband satellite at full line speed. “Compared to a 56k frame relay connection, our users get 10 times the broadband at half the cost,” he says.
Among End II End’s major clients so far are Coastal Chemical in Greenville, SC and Huntersville-based Bay Bridge Healthcare. The company plans to go after agribusiness companies in its marketing efforts this year, plus building a reseller channel.
Tech’s big week
Last Thursday was certainly a heady day for InfoVision President Greg Aker. On that day, he and his firm hosted the highly successful TechExpo 2003, which attracted more than 600 people to view 24 vendor booths and see Microsoft unveil its new Business Portal and demonstrate its new CRM system. Said Microsoft’s Don Morton: “InfoVision has always been a leader among our partners and is willing to try new things. They’re very customer-focused and validate our business model. This is one of the largest events sponsored by our partners.”
Then, if that wasn’t enough, later that day, the Charlotte Chamber announced that Aker was a finalist for its 2003 Entrepreneur Award in the category of 11-35 employees.
Another finalist for the Chamber award — in the 36-150 employees category — is Matthew Michalewicz of NuTech Solutions, who also had a high-flying week. In addition to the Chamber’s announcement, his company was ranked 19th among North Carolina’s Top High-Tech Companies of 2003 compiled by KPMG and Business North Carolina Magazine.
There was one other tech entrepreneur among the finalists named by the Chamber — David Jones of Peak 10, also in the 36-150 employees category. The winners will be announced at a banquet on Sept 30.
Other Charlotte-based firms named to the Top High Tech List were Lending Tree (2nd), Fairport Communications (4th) and US LEC Corp. (5th).