Connecting and troubleshooting the ethernet

June 11, 2010— Saint-Laurent, Quebec

Accedian Networks Inc.

Patrick Ostiguy was working in telecommunications' start-up firms that provide clients with ethernet networks when he came up with the idea for his own business.

Ostiguy, an electrical engineer, knew from his experience in product management that the connection between a telecommunications company's fibre optic network and a client company's private ethernet network is critical to ensuring that the client can transmit data securely and seamlessly among its offices.

The Ethernet demarcation device in action

He also knew that when there's trouble on one of the two networks, it's not always clear where the problem originates, and whose responsibility it is to maintain what part of the connection.

That's why, in 2004, Ostiguy founded Accedian Networks.

In the past, if the ethernet had a problem, the service provider had to send a truck and a team to the point where its network connected with its client's, to determine the origin of the problem and try to fix it. The process was costly and time-consuming.

Today, thanks to Accedian, service providers no longer have to dispatch their trucks and teams. The Saint-Laurent, Quebec-based firm has created an Ethernet Demarcation Device – a hardware device that connects service providers to their clients and clearly delineates the boundary between two networks. The device not only determines where a problem exists and whose responsibility it is to fix it, they allow the service providers to troubleshoot without ever having to leave their office.

"The device contains software that collects information about the performance of the network and sends it back to the service providers, acting much like a black box in a plane," says Ostiguy, Accedian's President and CEO.

"This device is intelligent and can be remotely controlled as a means for the service provider to be logged in at that boundary point, able to see what's going on in terms of quality of service," says Ostiguy.

It's capable of keeping statistics about the use the customer is making of the network.

The Ethernet Demarcation Device can check whether the optical fibres or ethernet cables are down, record the speed of data transmission, pinpoint any errors and send back information about the quality of service a customer is receiving.

"Because the device uses programmable silicon, it is faster and more accurate than other devices on the market," says Ostiguy.

"There was an obvious need for the product," he adds. "Service providers were looking for a means to reduce their truck rolls (roll-outs) and to reduce their operational expenses related to that." he says. "They were also looking for a means to guarantee quality of service."

Ostiguy began Accedian with just six employees. Then he secured funding from the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC- IRAP).

"NRC-IRAP was the first partner to commit financially to Accedian Networks," Ostiguy says. "They were our first sounding board for the business plan." The NRC-IRAP investment allowed the firm to create its first proof of concept and to secure $4 million worth of venture capital investments.

By the end of 2005, even before the company had secured its first round of financing, it began selling the devices. Accedian raised a second $7.5-million round of venture capital investment in early 2008.

Today, the company has grown and the firm is selling to 85 service providers. Accedian's customers are based all over the world, from Finland to Australia, and revenues continue to grow, quarter-over-quarter.

Through NRC-IRAP, Accedian was also able to gain access to technology market research that complemented its own research and development efforts.

"It was very helpful," he says.

Ostiguy has always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and with NRC-IRAP's help, he has been able to realize that dream.

"It's being the master of your own destiny," he says. "When you're starting your own company, the sky is the limit."

Enquiries: Media relations
613-991-1431
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

NRC-IRAP
1-877-994-4727
publicinquiries.irap-pari@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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