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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2018

Providing Service Assurance, Security and Analytics for Unified Communications: Edgewater Networks, the Industry Leader in Network Edge Orchestration, is Climbing its Way to New Heights

thesiliconreview-david-g-norman-ceo-edgewater-networks-inc-2018We have developed high-quality channel relationships including coveted Tier 1 Managed Service Providers, like AT&T, Comcast, Charter, and Cox, as well as an emerging Tier 2 & Tier 3 channel: David G. Norman

Adopting an IP telephony solution is a critical business decision for small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs). With so many facets and possible scenarios to consider, an SME will tend to outsource the complexity to a trusted service provider that delivers cloud-based communications. While this makes for an exciting opportunity for service providers, it also introduces an important issue that may serve as a roadblock to success for these providers – namely, scale. Specifically, complex installations and ongoing issue identification can get expensive, especially when a provider has to send a truck on-site to solve problems. Without the ability to scale, service providers will have difficulty capturing this opportunity. In turn, SMEs miss the chance to save money and be more productive.

In light of the above mentioned, we are thrilled to present Edgewater Networks. Edgewater Networks is the industry leader in Network Edge Orchestration, providing service assurance, security and analytics for Unified Communications, and SD-WAN through a hybrid cloud/edge model. Managed Service Providers and enterprises use Edgewater Networks’ solutions to monitor, secure, and optimize real-time communications services from the network core to the edge.

It starts with the EdgeMarc Intelligent Edge solutions that offer VoIP and video aware NAT/firewall, protocol harmonization for interoperability of VoIP and video devices, active VoIP line testing, call quality monitoring, survivability, quality of service management, and others. The EdgeMarc reports into the EdgeView Service Control Center, which identifies and resolves network impairments that negatively affect VoIP call quality. The company also offers QuickConnect interoperability PBX systems certification services; and professional services, including Edgewater Networks sales acceleration programs, as well as networks planning, building, and operation services.

Edgewater Networks was established in 2002 and is headquartered in San Jose, California.

Interview Excerpt: David G. Norman, CEO

Rewind: Starting Off on the Right Foot

Edgewater Networks was founded by David A. Norman and his son, David G. Norman who saw the market potential of a new technology called Voice over IP (VoIP).

Some early VoIP pioneers like Level3, Covad, and Speakeasy were beginning to offer VoIP services for businesses and they were beset with customer issues. Trying to have high-quality voice calls over the primitive Internet connections available at the time was proving to be problematic. The ‘Daves’ had a solution.

Gathering together a talented engineering team of alumni from First Virtual Corporation and Telverse Communications, the ‘Daves’ set out to build a device to fix the problem.

Challenges: Taking the Bull by the Horns

Deploying VoIP in 2002 was hard. In addition to the quality problems, it was hard to make VoIP work behind a firewall. Routers on the customer premises were of variable quality, and there were too many ‘standard’ VoIP protocols. Early Edgewater Networks employee Brian Quigley recalls: “We knew the device would have to do a lot of things in addition to fixing service quality issues.”

Another member of the early team, engineer Yun-Fong Loh, remembers, “it was becoming clear that we weren’t building a service quality solution. We were building a demarcation point for VoIP services.” A few months later, the first EdgeMarc Intelligent Edge was built. It was called the EdgeMarc E30.

Technology: In Full Swing

Today, Edgewater Networks is the pioneer in Network Edge Orchestration, providing service assurance, security and analytics for Unified Communications. Communications Service Providers, Managed Service Providers, VARs and System Integrators use Edgewater Networks’ solutions to monitor, secure and optimize real-time communications services from the network core to IP Endpoints on the customer premises.

Network Edge Orchestration is a hybrid cloud-edge approach to service assurance and security for Unified Communications. The customer premise-based EdgeMarc Intelligent Edge, introduced in 2003, was the first product to provide service assurance for IP voice and video applications. In 2005, Edgewater Networks launched the EdgeView Service Control Center as the industry’s first cloud-based controller for UC services. The company’s simplified approach allows for service management of highly distributed Unified Communications deployments.

Edgewater Networks sells Network Edge Orchestration exclusively through partners who offer UCaaS to the SME and enterprise market.

The company has developed high-quality channel relationships including coveted Tier 1 Managed Service Providers, like AT&T, Comcast, Charter, and Cox, as well as an emerging Tier 2 & Tier 3 channel. With over 625,000 EdgeMarc Intelligent Edges under management and tens of millions connected endpoints, Edgewater Networks is number one in market share in North America and number two worldwide.

In 2017, Edgewater Networks introduced Network Edge Orchestration as a service with Cloud2Edge Complete. Cloud2Edge Complete bundles all of the tools and services needed for Network Edge Orchestration into a single monthly price. The solution is priced and purchased on a subscription basis.

In early 2018, Edgewater Networks introduced its SD-WAN platform to meet the needs of SMEs. The company is also continuing development of its Network Edge Orchestration platform with Zero Touch Provisioning and advanced UC analytics.

Testimonials: Elevating Client Relationships

“Installations that used to take an entire day can be done in a fraction of the time by using the EdgeMarc Series appliance,” said Oliver Davis, Vice President of Marketing for Telverse Communications, Edgewater Networks’ first customer. “The many manual steps required to configure an IP phone, for example, are dramatically reduced by the EdgeMarc Series appliance.”

Noel Allen, another of the early Edgewater Networks gang, recollected, “it was great to get the E30 into the hands of a customer quickly. Getting immediate feedback gave us all confidence that we were on to something. That tradition endures today. Edgewater Networks delivers very high-quality products (we have an astonishingly low return rate) but focuses on getting our products out to customers quickly and rapidly incorporating their feedback into future software releases.”

The Brain Behind The Operation: A Brief Background

David G. Norman, CEO: David G. Norman has 25 years of experience in marketing and sales with high technology companies. Prior to founding Edgewater Networks, Mr. Norman worked as an independent consultant and private investor to technology start-ups. He created and implemented First Virtual Communications international strategy where he built the company’s international presence in Asia, Europe and Latin America through a highly leveraged virtual corporation model. He left FVC after a successful initial public offering. Prior to FVC, Mr. Norman was Director of Sales for the Western U.S. and Japan for Cornerstone Imaging, a document-imaging company. He left Cornerstone for FVC after Cornerstone’s successful IPO. He was founder of Businessland Japan, a Tokyo-based network integration company. Businessland Japan was a joint venture between Businessland, Inc., Softbank Corp., Fujitsu, Toshiba, Canon and Sony. Mr. Norman holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of California Santa Barbara where he also studied Japanese.

“With over 625,000 Intelligent Edges under management, the Network Edge Orchestration platform provides users the ability to rapidly scale to meet market demand, reduce capital and operational costs and provide a high-quality customer experience while reducing customer churn.”