RALEIGH … About 18 months after setting up its research and development center on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, Allied Telesyn has rolled out its first carrier-grade Ethernet products.

“This is pretty tremendous for us,” says Jim Holland, a co-founder of the Telesyn operation and its vice president of systems development. “The things we’ve pulled together in a year and a half, to come from nothing to delivering to market is incredible.”

The R&D lab is a subsidiary of Japan-based Allied Telesis, a global leader in providing communications equipment to government and higher education customers. Two years ago, Allied Telesis Chief Executive Taki Oshima decided he wanted to expand into supplying major telecommunications carriers and chose Raleigh as the hub for product development, taking advantage of the concentration of telecom engineers in the Research Triangle region.

Holland and Telesyn President David Dowse were recruited from Nortel Networks to start the operation, and other engineers have been brought on board from Cisco Systems, Alcatel, Lucent, Pliant Systems and Fujitsu, which have all been slashing local operations over the past two years amid the global collapse of the telecom equipment sector.

Telesyn now has about 120 employees in Raleigh, including a handful of marketing types. Another five to 10 engineers are expected to be added this year.

“We’ve been beneficiaries of the downturn, for sure,” says product marketing director Balaji Srinivasan. “But we’ve been able to extract the best engineers who are still working for other companies rather than pick people up off the street.”

Lining up customers

The average experience of Telesyn’s local engineers is 10 to 12 years in the telecom industry, he says, which has helped the company streak ahead in its product development cycle.

The two products unveiled this week are digital subscriber line access multiplexers (DSLAMs) that support voice, video and data services over copper wires to customers, Srinivasan says. One is a smaller box for remote applications, while the other provides a higher port density for central office use.

In addition to the DSLAMs, Telesyn is working to push its platform from edge applications to metro Ethernet usage, adding different interfaces to address a range of market opportunities, Srinivasan says.

Telesyn’s goal is to use the inexpensive and scalable IP Ethernet technology to bundle a “triple play” of video, voice and data features into one service, he says, generating more revenue per customer and increasing subscriber loyalty.

Holland says 300 subscribers in Wisconsin are now receiving video and voice-over-IP services on a digital subscriber line using Telesyn’s product, and the company has two more customers locked in. Competitive local exchange carriers in South America, Europe and Asia are testing the products, he says, as the company works up the line toward major suppliers like NTT, British Telecom and Verizon.

“We’re now stressing our factory to produce enough product to meet demand,” Holland says. “After a dry two years, we really seem to have tapped into a huge potential market.

“It’s very gratifying to have found success after working so hard.”

Allied Telesyn: www.alliedtelesyn.com