In the CEO Spotlight section in Internet Telephonyï¿½
magazine, we recognize the outstanding work performed by exemplary
companies. Each month we bring you the opinions of the heads of companies
leading the Internet telephony industry now and helping to shape the
future of the industry. This month, we interviewed Fred Lax, President and
CEO of Tekelec.
IT: What is Tekelecï¿½s mission?
FL: Tekelecï¿½s mission is to serve our customers around the
globe by delivering the best network communication solutions, products,
and services. The experienced, talented, and committed people of Tekelec
and our partners propel this mission.
IT: What is your vision for Tekelec and how is the company
positioned in the next-generation telecom market?
FL: The transition to the next-generation telecom market is being
driven by changes in regulation and technology and the need to reduce
capital and operational expenditures while increasing revenue generation.
Service providers are seeking a simplified solution that brings together
leading-edge ï¿½enablingï¿½ technologies and helps reduce capital costs
and operating expenses while providing the flexibility to adapt to future
applications and services.
Tekelec and Santera Systems, Inc., recently joined forces to take
advantage of evolving market opportunities. With our Class 4 and Class 5
switching portfolio (including SG, MGC, and MG), Tekelecï¿½s
next-generation switching and signaling portfolio combined with
value-added applications uniquely position the company as a leading
solutions provider worldwide.
IT: Describe some of the key decisions that you have made as
CEO to steer your company through the recent challenging financial
FL: With a keen focus on operational excellence to meet customer
needs, we are building on our core competencies by investing wisely to
position the company for global growth. During an economic and industry
downturn, Tekelec has remained strong, continuing to strategically invest,
grow, and expand into new technologies and markets.
Tekelecï¿½s expansion into switching builds on its signaling expertise. As
the industry transitions from circuit to packet networks, suppliers need
expertise in both signaling and switching ï¿½ which we can definitely
We have focused specifically on the following three strategic areas:
ï¿½ To build on Tekelecï¿½s legacy in signaling technology and high
value-added applications for wireline and wireless carriers.
ï¿½ To provide next-generation switching solutions.
ï¿½ To expand globally.
Working with 36 customers in 27 countries outside of North America, we
plan to increase non-U.S.-based revenues from around 20 percent to 40
Tekelec continues to benefit from the major proliferation in mobile
communications. Mobile operators rely on our solutions to expand their
networks reliably and cost-effectively by leveraging IP or ATM networks to
carry signaling traffic. They benefit from reduced transport costs,
flexible bandwidth, greater message throughput, and lower infrastructure
costs -- and a solid migration path to 3G.
IT: What makes Tekelecï¿½s product offerings unique and how
do companies benefit from using them?
FL: We understand the need to integrate existing legacy networks
and next-generation applications with open standards. Tekelecï¿½s NOW and
NEXT-generation solution focuses on what service providers want in their
networks: A single managed platform that supports future business models.
Advantages include simplicity, reliability, flexibility, increased
revenue-generating ability, and lowered capital and operating costs.
For switching applications, we support TDM and packet fabrics. Our
approach offers a cost-effective alternative to TDM alone or TDM/data-centric
applications. Our carrier-grade switch enables a smooth migration from
traditional circuit-based to next-gen packet-based networks. It allows
services to be switched in their native form as well as in any-to-any
mode, and it delivers density and growth unmatched in the market today. We
truly integrate voice and data services at the first point of switching,
enabling the rapid introduction of profitable new services at dramatically
reduced operational and capital costs.
IT: What is the most pressing issue facing our industry
today, and what can be done can to alleviate this problem?
FL: Economics and the investment profile necessary to move the
worldï¿½s telecom infrastructure forward are pressing issues. Investments
in the industry today often donï¿½t result in immediate returns.
At the next level, the adoption rate of next-generation technology tops
the list. The next-gen network converges voice and data networks to
provide consumers with personalized multimedia services -- anytime,
anywhere. We are addressing the issue with an ardent focus on the value
proposition of this technology and the requirement for an integration and
migration strategy. Packet switching, which is the foundation for this
network, is not new to Tekelec. We have significantly expanded our product
portfolio with the Santera addition. With its combined signaling and
switching expertise, Tekelec is positioned at the forefront -- as a
capable provider of high-octane, complete, and robust solutions.
IT: Describe your view of the future of the IP telephony
FL: Tekelecï¿½s paradigm, the ï¿½Next-Generation Core,ï¿½ helps
providers build smart networks with an innovative combination of switching
and signaling solutions and applications, which, in-turn, improve
economics. With the single-vendor approach, providers can simplify service
creation and delivery while leveraging technology advancements. The
approach offers an open architecture for increased flexibility and ease of
interoperability while providing the scalability and reliability
(five-nines or better) required to deliver superior service. It supports
voice and data services for increased revenue generation and provides a
clear migration path for network evolution.
While there are still many issues to overcome, such as economics and
regulatory, next-gen is not a matter of ï¿½ifï¿½ but ï¿½when.ï¿½
[ Return To The January
2004 Table Of Contents ]