January 26, 2009
TMC's ITEXPO Spotlights Sorrento Networks
By Rich Tehrani, President and Editor-in-Chief
As CEO of Sorrento Networks, Jim Nevelle oversees sales and engineering. Prior to co-founding Sorrento, Jim served as the senior vice president of operations for Verso Technologies where he was responsible for research and development, manufacturing, operations and professional services. Prior to this role, Jim was the vice president of sales and marketing for Verilink Corporation and the senior vice president of sales and marketing for XEL Communications.
Jim is a co-author of four U.S. patents pertaining to broadband architectures and deployments. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and a master's degree in technology management from the University of Denver.
Who has influenced you most in your career and why?
I have been very fortunate to be involved with some of the brightest and intelligent people in the communications world. Each has provided me with insights into what I am today.
What excites you most about our industry?
The communications industry is evolving at such a fast pace, one can’t help but being excited about it. Within our lifetime we will see technologies affect everyday lives in ways that we haven’t even thought of yet.
What areas do you wish you could devote more energy/attention/resources?
In economic downturns, businesses tend to focus on the business issues of the day instead of the looking out the future. We are always working to keep resources focused on the future.
What pain does your company take away for customers?
Bandwidth demand continues to drive our market space and can be a pain to our customers. Our customers, the carriers, use us to deliver large amounts of bandwidth via wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technologies in the most cost efficient way possible.
How did your company get to where it is and where is it headed?
Sorrento has two decades of providing WDM infrastructure to its customers, so it has had a long time to get to a rooted, successful place as a provider of metro WDM equipment. From here, we are going to incorporate more intelligence in our platform so we can provide more Ethernet and other packet-based services.
What does your dream mobile device look like?
Poof – you become President Obama’s top advisor on tech. What should he do to foster more technology use in the US and abroad?
We all have learned from the technology expansion over the past few decades that as technology becomes more accessible it is used more heavily. Hence, the more communication capabilities and infrastructure we provide to U.S. citizens the more ways people can find creative uses for it to improve their lives.
Every copy of Microsoft Windows contains VoIP like tools such as NetMeeting, so in essence they are a major force in communications today.
iPhone, Blackberry, etc are all household names today, so I say they are major forces in communications.
What surprised you most about 2008?
The major surprise in 2008 was the growth of broadband demand. Even as the economic condition deteriorated, demand for larger communication capacity remained. Normally, communication usage such as telephone lines decreases in downturns. However, increasing broadband traffic, such as Gigabit Ethernet and Data Centers, shows people need bandwidth and are willing to budget for it even in today’s conditions.
Assuming we need it (and who couldn’t use some extra cash), what do we tell Congress to get a multibillion dollar US government communications bailout?
The U.S. communications infrastructure is one of the best in the world and is the main reason businesses here succeed and grow. We need to maintain that, if not augment it.
You are speaking at ITEXPO which takes place Feb 2-4 2009 in Miami. Why do people need to hear what you say, live and in person?
My goal is to have attendees leave with the knowledge and tools they need to implement lower-cost IPTV (News - Alert) architectures. The bandwidth requirements for IPTV are much greater than for carrier-class VoIP telephony, necessitating the need for more bandwidth-efficient IPTV protocols, such as IP multicasting. However, finance departments often balk at the high costs of obtaining this bandwidth efficiency. I hope that those who attend my session will learn practical ways to implement a low-cost broadcast optical IPTV backbone that offers a high QoS and meets all other triple play requirements. It should be timely from both technological and economical points of view.
Make some wild predictions about 2009/10.
One of my bold predictions for the next year or two is that WDM optical equipment revenue will surpass SONET/SDH equipment revenue by two fold. The trend is tracking even today, but the market is at a tipping point where the carriers are going to move away from SONET/SDH and focus their spending on WDM to increase their bandwidth infrastructure.
Rich Tehrani is President and Group Editor-in-Chief of TMC. In addition, he is the Chairman of the world’s best-attended communications conference, INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO (ITEXPO (News - Alert)). He is also the author of his own communications and technology blog.
Edited by Jessica Kostek