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Aricent is engineering the future- from customer to chip


Established in 1991, Aricent is a global design and engineering company innovating for the digital era. With more than 12,000 talented designers and engineers and over 25 years of experience, it helps the world's leading companies solve their most important business and technology challenges - from Customer to Chip™.

Aricent also shares thought provoking insights and thought leadership about the technology trends that are defining the next generation of capabilities for tomorrow’s global R&D organizations.

Aricent’s vision for competing in the digital era

Digital and software business models continue to challenge the most nimble companies to stay relevant. The ability to intelligently tie people, products and services for superior customer experiences and outcomes is a universal business driver. However, companies must successfully adopt the right R&D strategies that create on going value from their portfolio of products and services. Durability of customer relationships and revenue streams can be elusive when technology transitions happen seemingly overnight.

Aricent uses the term “Digital Durability” to describe a company’s culture and mindset that seeks to focus more energy and resources not only to anticipate technology transitions but also create ongoing value through the chasms. In their Technology Vision for 2016, Aricent research identified four R&D trends that help propel companies to exceed customer expectations and design products and services that are more durable in today’s digital industry’s:

  • Driving smart outcomes with smart services
  • Designing for billions of things
  • Navigating unconventional connectivity
  • Innovating beyond silicon

These trends are being adopted by industry pioneers to increase the likelihood that products and services are on the path to creating ongoing value.

Partner with the leaders

Aricent takes pride in partnering with the world’s leading technology brands to create innovative solutions that create new markets worth billions of dollars. Working with Aricent provides access to a highly skilled leadership team that is focused on creating a framework for consistent innovation. The company’s expertise is behind many of the technologies that are powering solutions for a fully connected world.

Aricent further believes that good design is the differentiator that delivers a compelling user experience. Aricent’s design company ‘frog’, puts humans at the center of the product development process to identify business opportunities, creates great products, and designs meaningful experiences to grow brands and delight customers. Frog employs more than 600 strategists, researchers, designers, and technologists who consult and partner with clients across industries.

Unmatched quality standards

Aricent is committed to high-quality, rigorous standards, certified best practices and a steadfast commitment to excellence in every project. Aricent’s quality processes are derived from industry best practices as well as from experience. The company has been assessed multiple times by external accredited agencies. Aricent has received accreditation on international quality and process standards, including ISO 9001 (2008), TL9000, and CMMI Level 5 (version 1.3).

Awards and recognitions

  • Aricent won the Cisco partnership award in 2015
  • Aricent was rated in the leadership zone in the semiconductor, media & entertainment, and telecommunications industries by Zinnov in 2015/2016
  • Aricent rated in the leadership zone for IoT services by Zinnov in 2016
  • Zinnov has rated Aricent a ‘Global R&D Services Leader’ since 2012
  • Cisco honors Aricent with the supplier excellence in quality award in 2012

Industry focus will drive profitable growth and innovative solutions

Today’s companies compete on outcomes where products and services converge. Intelligent technologies in sensing and machine learning have the potential to create entirely new and disruptive value propositions in every major industry including automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, internet services, media & entertainment, networking, semiconductors, software and telecommunications.

Whether it is building the smart infrastructure for the cities of tomorrow or self-driving cars, the stakes are high and the window of opportunity for profitable growth is narrow. Aricent’s industry focus and deep design and engineering expertise helps deliver innovative solutions that are specific to eachclient.

Designing the digitally durable culture

The most innovative companies have an R&D organization that operates as part of a circular value chain. By closing the loop among sales, manufacturing and operations, these companies stimulate the evolution of products through market feedback, among other things. Now, leaders are not only gaining insights from the market but are developing cultures that enable anticipatory senses—hence, their companies are becoming more digitally durable.

Aricent product life cycle services, software frameworks and technology solutions allow clients to anticipate industry disruption and transform products and services to be competitive in the digital era. Aricent solutions span the entire lifecycle of a product from design, hardware and software development to testing and support.

  • Design: Aricent’sdesign solutions are a seamless blend of design experience and creative thinking to drive superior customer outcomes.
  • Hardware Product Development: Aricent provides the talent and capacity for new product development that shortens time to market, increasesthe derivative portfolio and drives revenue from chip design to board design.
  • Software Product Development Services: In a digital era, value creation lies in software and Aricent isthe ideal strategic partner to help translate emerging trends and customer expectations into viable products and services that drive revenue streams and new business models.
  • Testing Services: With tens of thousands of hours of testing experience, Aricent is the partner of choice for top manufacturers and service providers.
  • Support & Operations: Aricent’s comprehensive set of post-development capabilities allows companies to place a renewed focus on longer term customer relationships and take advantage of product and service convergence.

Aricent innovation



  • 1991: Started operations as a captive of Hughes Network Systems (part of Hughes Electronics). Built software for the six largest satellite networks deployed globally.
  • 1992: Deployed the world’s first frame relay network for marquee clients, and worked on cutting-edge cellular technologies.
  • 1996: Expanded business to non-Hughes clients based on its highly regarded telecom competency. Quickly became a market leader for SS7 signaling and Voice over IP.
  • 1997-1998: Signed key clients including Nokia, Alcatel and NEC. Launched the ‘Intelligent Peripheral’ as a key node in the evolving intelligent-networks market.
  • 1998-1999: Launched new software frameworks to manage telecom networks.
  • 1999: Went public in India as the first highly successful book-building IPO.
  • 2003: Signed Lucent, Cisco as key clients. Opened wireless center of excellence in Nürnberg, Germany.
  • 2003: Acquired by Flextronics and became Flextronics Software Systems. Added wireless, wireline, testing and multimedia capabilities from several acquisitions (HSS for wireless, Futuresoft for wireline, Emuzed for multimedia, and Decanet for testing).
  • 2004: Launched the switching and routing framework. Signed 200 leading equipment manufacturers over the next four years. Signed semiconductor partnerships with Broadcom, Marvel and Fulcrum.
  • 2004-2005: Acquired Datalinx and launched service-provider offerings with AT&T, Verizon and Vodafone.
  • 2006: Taken over by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Sequoia Capital. Became a private company and re-named Aricent, including subsidiary Frog Design, which was bought by KKR in 2004.
  • 2007: Worked with IP Access to create the world’s first Femtocell ‘small cell’ mobile phone base station. Built the world’s first WiMax base station with Alvarion.
  • 2008: Created the world’s first in-flight WiFi broadband service with Aircell, now marketed as Gogo, which transformed the flying experience for business travelers.
  • 2008: Launched Product Support Services as a key offering, with marquee clients including Cisco.
  • 2010: Launched enabling software for LTE networks to advance 4G deployments. Signed 70 leading LTE equipment manufacturers over the next four years. Signed semiconductor partnerships with Broadcom, Freescale, Mindspeed (Intel), Qualcomm and others.
  • 2010: Opened engineering center of excellence for network applications. Opened center of excellence for 3G in Shenzhen, China.
  • 2010-2011: Launched a dedicated practice for the semiconductor and embedded market segment to diversify its business. Signed key clients including Intel.
  • 2011: Opened engineering and development center for testing and wireless technologies in Vietnam.
  • 2011-2012: Launched dedicated practice for the software and internet services market segment to diversify its business. Signed key clients including Microsoft.
  • 2012: Launched new software frameworks for the emerging software-defined networking (SDN) and OpenFlow movements.
  • 2012-2013: Aricent hires Frank Kern in October 2012 as chief executive. Expands executive team with new leadership hires. Builds operational discipline and accelerates diversification.
  • 2014: Unveiled new software for self-optimized networks at Mobile World Congress.
  • 2015: Acquired SmartPlay to accelerate growth of its business in the semiconductor industry.

CEO’s corner

Frank Kern, CEO, Aricent: “We are dedicated to solving our client’s challenges in their pursuit to connect the world, improve lives, and build a better future. We partner to deliver innovative design, engineering and support services that are powered by software frameworks and solutions.” 

Frank Kern joined Aricent in 2012 as the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors. As CEO of Aricent, Frank is focused on driving growth in the business and developing solutions and services that change the way people live, learn and work. He and his leadership team have continued the strong tradition of engineering excellence at Aricent, while increasing the business value through innovation and diversified growth.

Prior to joining Aricent, Frank was with IBM for over 30 years in various leadership roles including Senior Vice President, Global Business Services, Senior Vice President Sales and Distribution, and President, Asia Pacific Region. Frank has been a driving force in creating Aricent’sIT culture, software enablement, and global business services.

For decades, Frank has been a leader in developing integrated services for technology issues around the world. He has been a champion of empowering creative thinking to solve business challenges.