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HOTS 03/2000

Issue: March 2000

By: Frank Bisbee


Featured Story


In December 1999, Preston C. Speers accepted the position of President of Krone, Inc. (Englewood, CO). Mr. Speers will be challenged with the responsibility of leading Krone Inc. and Prestolite Wire business in the Americas. Additionally, Preston will be responsible for global strategies for Krone worldwide. Mr. Speers and other key members of his staff have relocated their homes to Colorado and everyone we spoke with is "fired up" about the future and a great year ahead. The Prestolite Wire products which contractors have embraced are still available however they may have been repackaged with the Krone label. Check And by the way, the LeCroy cable tester which Krone used in their booth at COMNET proved the high quality of their cable products.

There's a new gun at DuPont (Wilmington,DE). Tim McCann recently took the reins as Global Business Director - Fluoropolymers (Teflon®, Tefzel®). His team has already forged ahead with the successful GoldMark quality assurance program. The GoldMark Program is a guide for buyers and specifiers to ensure their peace of mind in a product which has safety, sustainability, and performance embedded in the cable construction using Teflon®.

Look for the birthday party at BICSI in May (Ft. Worth, TX). Teflon® FEP turns 40 and DuPont is going to celebrate.

Cable Design Technologies (Pittsburgh, PA), a provider of increased bandwidth and high-speed network connectivity products, has announced its membership in the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse venture. The Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse includes partners Cisco Systems, Sony Corporation and Carnegie Mellon University as well as other corporate, educational and governmental members.

"We are very eager to start working with the high caliber of companies and institutions included in the Digital Greenhouse," commented Paul M. Olson, President and CEO. "This is a unique ground floor opportunity that brings together great intellectual talents that we think will yield impressive results through open collaboration."

Cable Design Technologies is a designer and manufacturer of high bandwidth network products, fiber optic cable and components, interconnecting hardware, and communications cable products used in wireless, central office and local loop applications. CDT also manufactures electronic data and signal transmission products that are used in automation and process control applications.

The Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse's program provides development funds, expertise and project management to facilitate breakthroughs in advanced chip design for electronic products. These funded projects are considered the first step in developing "smart products" which include devices for home automation, handheld devices for wireless communication systems, digital television and set-top boxes that can enable the delivery of enhanced communication services, and a variety of digital network applications.

The Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse is a consortium of public and private entities whose members include Cadence Design Systems, Casio Computer Company, Cisco Systems Inc., Sony Corporation, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the Pittsburgh Technology Council, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

Berk-Tek (New Holland, PA), an Alcatel company, has introduced Tek-Pak™, new, larger and more user-friendly packaging for its LANmark™-1000 and LANmark™-350 enhanced UTP cables, Tek-Paks are designed to simplify and speed up installation, as well as make contents easier to identify.

The redesigned packaging features a diamond-shaped payout hole with an open area about five times larger than the previous tube-style payout hole. This superior coil design not only reduces the tangle and snag potential while pulling the cable, but also minimizes electrical degradation of the cables during installation.

Berk-Tek's new packages are also about 10 percent larger to accommodate the larger payout hole. Improved graphics and a coordinated color scheme make it easy to distinguish between different cable series and whether the contents are plenum- or riser-rated. Better identification for the packaging is expected to make identifying the correct package easier at the warehouse and at the job site.

The LANmark-1000 cable series is comprised of TIA/EIA Category 6 Draft 5 compliant cables that are specified and tested to 500 MHz. The series is completely characterized using power sum crosstalk. LANmark-350 enhanced Category 5e Draft 11a UTP cables are designed to meet the most advanced UTP horizontal cable applications and are tested to 350 MHz.

The LANmark-1000 UTP and patch cable products are the first to receive independent certification as meeting Category 6, Draft 3 standards of the Telecommunications Industry of America (TIA). The certification was granted by Intertek Testing Services (Cortland, NY), formerly ETL Testing Laboratories.

At the same time, Intertek Testing Services independently certified LANmark-350 UTP patch cable products as meeting the TIA/EIA-568A Category 5e, Draft 11 standard.

Larry Fullerton, Chief Technology Officer and founder of Time Domain Corp. (Huntsville, AL), has been named 1999 Outstanding Engineer by The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Huntsville Section for his discovery of Time Modulated Ultra Wideband pulse technology (TM-UWB).

The award is presented annually to individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding accomplishment in the areas of electrical, electronic or computer engineering profession.

"Larry Fullerton was selected for this honor because of his outstanding technical accomplishments in the area of ultra wideband technology and the potential this technology has shown for the future," said Willard Preussel, Awards Chairman, IEEE Huntsville Section. "We're fortunate to have a considerable number of talented engineers in North Alabama. However, there aren't very many who have even come close to developing a new technology with such potential."

Fullerton's TM-UWB technology represents a paradigm shift in wireless technology, enabling new products and industries and with the potential to dramatically impact life and work styles. Instead of traditional continuous sine waves, Fullerton's method of TM-UWB creates an entirely new medium for wireless communications by sending precisely timed pulses across a wide spectrum. This method is superior in certain applications because of its ability to send large quantities of data at ultra low power without interfering with other frequencies.

Cablesoft (Tempe, AZ) has boosted its senior management with the addition of six experienced executives, as it gears up to increase annual revenues to $30 million. The forecast growth will lead to over 50 new job openings over the next 12 months.

The investment in senior management is needed as Cablesoft prepares for the launch of its new infrastructure management system, iTRACS, in the second quarter of this year. The hardware and software combination is a new direction for Cablesoft, which has traditionally focused on software.

Six key players have been added in as many weeks. Vice President of Marketing Tracy McDargh and Solution Evangelist Bill Vesio join from Phoenix-based Microtest Inc. Ron Monroig, Manager of the Network Division of Control Engineering, becomes Systems Integrator Development Director. AT&T Sales Manager Debbie Fitzgerald moves to the role of Western Regional Sales Director. Jim Potter, former Global Business Manager at W.L. Gore and Associates, will represent Cablesoft as OEM Development Director and ex-Pinacor executive Mike Lima is appointed COO.

"The new team will help Cablesoft through the transition from a product-focused vendor to a solutions and services-oriented company," said Pete Pela, CEO and President of Cablesoft. "There is no doubt our business strategy will transform Cablesoft into an IPO candidate, within two years. This will bring many job opportunities, so we are planning an aggressive recruitment campaign to fill these expected positions."

Allen Systems Group, Inc. (Naples, FL), a provider of Enterprise Productivity Software™ (EPS), has purchased BETA Systems Software AG of Berlin's line of workload products. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

ASG and BETA also entered simultaneous distribution agreements. The agreements name ASG a non-exclusive distributor in North America of all BETA products and BETA a non-exclusive distributor in Europe of ASG's entire product line.

ASG acquired the rights to sell and market four BETA products including BETA-41 Batch Bridge - the first non-proprietary, cross-platform enterprise production scheduler; BETA-42 Distributed Workload Scheduler - a full-function scheduler that provides mechanisms to define, manage, execute and monitor complicated workloads; BETA 44 Workload Planner - providing an online, graphical representation of production workload; and BETA 45 Workload Analyzer - offering data centers an innovative, graphical tool to track its processing performance.

ASG President and CEO Art Allen said, " This transaction is another step I the process of positioning ASG to be the partner-of-choice for the Global 3000 companies when they are choosing an Enterprise Productivity Software provider."

ASG has a proven record of accomplishment in maintaining support of acquired technologies. ASG Senior VP of Technology Tom Andrews said, " We anticipate the immediate leveraging of the interior display capabilities featured in BETA 44 Workload Planner and BETA 45 Workload Analyzer. Over a period of incremental releases, we will incorporate the best features of the scheduling products into our enterprise scheduling offering."

Steve Clark is Vice President and General Manager of the Connectivity Solutions business of Lucent Technologies' Network Products Group (NPG). He is responsible for global management of this key unit, including research and development, manufacturing, and product advocacy and management for the sales/distribution channel.

Prior to assuming his current position, he served as sales and marketing vice president for NPG's Power Systems business, where he led a team to revamp the sales organization, resulting in consistent double-digit revenue growth from 1994 to 1999. The team also successfully repositioned the Power Systems business with several key accounts.

Steve was formerly managing director and Chief Representative for AT&T in China. His responsibilities included business development, business unit coordination, and general administration. He served as a member of the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China and chairman of the Public Affairs Committee. Steve is proficient in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese and has lived in Taiwan, the Philippines, Mexico City, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

He held positions in sales and marketing for equipment and communication services at AT&T, including an assignment as program director for the AT&T Executive Education Program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Steve holds a B.F.A. degree from Southern Methodist University in political communication and a master's degree in management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. A member of Mensa and the American Institute of Industrial Engineers, he is a past recipient of a National Science Foundation grant and received a U.S. Patent in the field of photovoltaics.

Steve and his wife, Marlene, have five children. His hobbies include jogging, woodwinds, and golf.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) has a new high performance fiber-optic small form factor connector that can slash connector installation time by more than two-thirds for fiber-to-the-desktop installations.

Lucent said that connector installation time can be decreased to less than one minute per connector with the company's new, quick-mount LC connector - the industry's first no-polish, no-adhesive LC fiber-optic connector. Introduced at the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) winter conference, it is the latest addition to the SYSTIMAX® work-area fiber solution that includes new multimedia faceplates, consolidation points, and distribution apparatus.

The new LC Connector requires only a single crimp, eliminating time previously required for adhesive curing and end-face polishing. Rapid termination with a mini-tool kit offers significant installation advantages over traditional epoxy/polish installation.

"The new LC connector is ideal for fiber-to-the-desktop installations since many connectors are needed for termination in multiple work areas," said Tom McNeil, Senior Manager at Lucent. "We recommend the new LC connector for these types of installations because saving time and creating reliability is an absolute necessity in today's interconnected workplaces."

Lucent's LC connector family offers the industry's highest level of transmission performance in fiber-optic connectors, allowing SYSTIMAX OptiSPEED™ and LazrSPEED™ fiber-optic links to support high bit-rate applications, including Gigabit Ethernet and proposed serial transmission applications of 10-Gigabit Ethernet.

The SYSTIMAX® work-area solution incorporates a line of multimedia outlets, a plenum consolidation point and equipment room apparatus into a seamless, integrated channel. The SYSTIMAX LST-SY fiber-optic termination shelf is ideal for high-density closet applications, while the M36PA Plenum consolidation point provides flexibility in architecture and rapid reconfiguration.

The new LC connector is compatible with the full line of existing LC products and is adaptable to copper-based panels and outlets. Combined with the new M10MMFP multimedia faceplate and the modular furniture M13CLS faceplate, Lucent offers a complete line of products to support fiber-to-the-desktop. Lucent said the new LC connector will be generally available in April 2000.

According to Fleck Research, a market analysis firm, well over 2 million multimode and single-mode LC connectors including cable assemblies are currently in use in the United States alone - far more than any other SFF connector on the market. Additionally, Fleck Research estimates that more than 100 complete premises network installations have been completed with LC-style connectors and hardware. The company forecasts that North American sales of both the single-mode and multimode LC connectors will reach $111 million by 2003, making it the most widely adopted connector in the industry.

Lucent's SYSTIMAX SCS, the company's premier structured connectivity systems for commercial applications, is available worldwide through authorized distributors and resellers. The SYSTIMAX family of products is backed b a 20-year Extended Product Warranty and Applications Assurance.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) recently announced their gigabit copper cable for private networks that can improve Local Area Networks (LAN) downtime, increase speed in data transmissions and lower administrative costs.

Lucent said its new SYSTIMAX® Structured Connectivity Solutions GigaSPEED® 81 Series Cable is guaranteed under its Extended Product Warranty and Applications Assurance to provide 54.3dB near-end crosstalk (NEXT) at 100 MHz - resulting in more than 300 percent of expected performance under current Category 6 industry standards.

The new 81 Series Cable will reliably support emerging high-bandwidth applications including Gigabit Ethernet, 1.2 Gigabit Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and all 77 channels (550 MHz) of analog broadband video.

While most competitors' claims meet only Category 6 requirements, Lucent's 81 Series Cable has the highest bandwidth of any copper unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cable on the market with positive attenuation-to-crosstalk-ratio (ACR) to 444 MHz. The company introduced its new cable to customers at the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) winter conference.

"The GigaSPEED 81 Series Cable is designed to avoid the bandwidth crunch of the future," said Todd Stratton, Senior Product Manager at Lucent. "Choosing the right cabling infrastructure to handle today's traffic and tomorrow's high-speed, bandwidth-hungry applications is a must."

"The 81 Series Cable maximizes bandwidth for tomorrow's high-speed technologies and helps protect the customer's installed base against obsolescence," he added.

The unrivaled bandwidth capacity of Lucent's 81 series cable has been achieved through industry-leading improvements in two critical performance areas: NEXT and attenuation.

NEXT - the inference that results when one cable pair couples into an adjacent pair - is one of the most important factors limiting cable bandwidth. Lucent's 81 Series Cable offers an unprecedented 10dB margin (headroom) above the base requirements of current Category 6 NEXT standards.

In addition, the 81 Series Cable has significant attenuation (loss of signal) performance and headroom over the base requirements of Category 6.

Together, the NEXT and attenuation performance capabilities of Lucent's 81 series cable increase bandwidth by as much as 50 percent when compared to cables that meet only minimum Category 6 requirements. These factors can result in less LAN downtime, higher-speed transmissions and lower administrative costs.

Lucent introduced the industry's first Category 6-compliant cable in 1997. The SYSTIMAX SCS GigaSPEED 71 Series Cable became the benchmark for Category 6 standards and continues to offer a high-speed choice in copper cable with a compact and flexible round design.

The new 81 Series Cable, featuring an innovative fluted design, has achieved high-performance levels through a unique Bell Labs cable construction process and patented twist-and-strand scheme. The new cables are available in plenum, non-plenum and low-smoke zero-halogen versions.

Larry Bines, formerly with Wavetek Wandel Goltermann, has joined DCM Industries, Inc. as their North American Sales Manager - LAN Products.

DCM is a leader in twisted pair test and measurement systems. DCM began operations back in 1971, designing test and measurement systems for telecom cable manufacturers. In 1973, DCM was the first company to develop a "high frequency" Crosstalk measurement system; capable of testing twisted pair to 1 MHz. Subsequent developments produced systems of 2 MHz (for international E1 standards), 6.5 MHz (meeting Bell Telephone Standards) and 20 MHz (developed for testing IBM Type 3 cables). In 1995, DCM took this technology to a higher level, developing systems for testing Category 5 cable to 100 MHz. Today, DCM offers systems capable of testing 4-pair and 25-pair UTP, STP and S/STP cables up to 1 GHz, and is a major supplier to cable manufacturers worldwide.

DCM has recognized the patch cord as the weak link in a high-speed cabling channel. Now, using technology from their larger cable test systems, DCM has the ability to certify patch cords well beyond Category 6 limits.

DCM recently introduced the PCT-350 Patch Cord Test System, now being used by both large and small patch cord assemblers. One smaller patch cord maker has doubled their sales of patch cords, simply be providing DCM test reports to prospective customers. More recently, DCM introduced the PCS-2000 Patch Cord Scanner which includes an internal transmission analyzer, providing a lower cost solution for patch cord assemblers and end-users, as well. Both the PCT-350 and PCS-2000 can also be used for testing links, channels, and network hardware, including keystone jacks.

DCM is continuing to develop solutions for the cable industry. They have just introduced the CMS-2000 system designed for makers of USB and IEEE-1394 cables and patch cable assemblies. Keep your eyes open for more cable and LAN products from DCM.

Value Added Resellers and systems integrators can now add full, remote infrastructure management capabilities to their product and service offerings.

Cablesoft (Tempe, AZ), a leader in enterprise and infrastructure management products, is looking for partners to take its new Connectivity Discovery and Monitoring System (CDMS) to market. The product allows network managers and administrators to remotely document, manage and monitor physical connectivity between all port types from a central point.

CDMS is the first system to provide affordable, real-time, online monitoring of equipment from any vendor. The software allows a remote manager of administrator to verify connectivity points from the desktop, an activity which previously would have to be carried our physically on site. The product is designed to save network staff time and improve network performance, as well as reduce the cost of Moves, Adds, and Changes (MACs) and downtime.

"Until now, the monitoring of MACs has only been possible when staff are physically on site - and this makes it an inefficient process," said Pete Pela, CEO and President at Cablesoft. "As an ex-engineer, I know how much time and effort this can take, so I really believe CDMS will be invaluable to any networked organization. All we need now are the right partners to install and support the product, so we'll be working hard to form alliances with proven, successful VARs who really know the market."

Allied Telesyn International (Bothell, WA), a leader in simplifying networking for businesses of all sizes, recently announced that the company has been awarded a new contract with the State of California to provide networking and data communications hardware and software.

The contract provides pre-negotiated pricing and terms under which the State of California agencies and any city, county, district or other local governmental body or corporation empowered to expend public funds can purchase Allied Telesyn LAN and WAN hardware and software products.

This contract with the State of California, the second of its kind awarded to the company in a single month, highlights the redefined commitment to the State and Local government marketplace, increased breadth of product line and reputation for quality and service that Allied Telesyn has developed and nurtured, and places the company on the short list of leading network hardware manufacturers to hold a CMAS contract. Allied Telesyn was also recently awarded a contract to supply managed switches by the California State University system.

"Allied Telesyn is widely recognized by the government and education markets as a proven supplier of high quality networking hardware that meet stringent price/performance goals," said Sean Keohane, Allied Telesyn's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "Whether it is via direct contract-based sales or through our established reseller channel, we're extremely pleased to have the opportunity to provide our quality networking products to educational institutions and government agencies in the State of California under the new CMAS contract's pre-negotiated terms."

RiT Technologies (Mahwah, NJ) recently announced that it is making its PatchView V.2 for the Enterprise Real-Time Network Connectivity Management and Network Asset Tracking System. Patchview V.2 is in beta testing currently.

The Enterprise Management market (estimated at $7.5 billion/year) is the target of the Patchview V.2. This offering automates network troubleshooting, maintenance and documentation procedure. The system provides unprecedented real-time network visibility-from physical connectivity components (cables, outlets, wiring racks, and patch panels), to hardware network resources (PCs, printers, switches, and routers), all the way to network information about the user (operating systems, MAC and IP addresses, and service type). The records are vital ammunition in the battle to manage network resources and to reduce network ownership costs.

Unique Fire Stop Products (Robertsdale, AL) has announced two new products for retrofitting a fire barrier without cable removal. The Membrane Penetrator is a sleeve system developed for the penetration and placement of cables inside of a fire rated barrier. This new mechanical Sleeve System makes its own hole in drywall and attaches itself with no hardware. The plastic bushing protects cable jackets and a documentation/warning label is supplied with each system.

The Cap Penetrator is an installation aid that allows the cable installer to pierce the metal top plate of drywall "petition walls". Cables can be placed without fear of damage and installers will save time and effort in dropping and fishing cables inside a petition wall with this sleeve. Again, a plastic bushing protects cable jackets. Mike Tobias, President of Unique Fire Stop Products, told us that the two new products are filling a significant product void in tackling the challenges of properly maintaining the integrity of the firewalls and safety systems. Look for a list of distributors on their website:

The CMS Snake Tray hand bendable cable management system. The CM 101 series is designed for installation under a raised floor or on a wall and it is available in three sizes. The CM 201 series is designed for installation on a wall, suspended from above or attached to a floor pedestal and is also available in three sizes. The hand bendable feature of all the Snake Tray products requires no tools, cutting or modification of the tray to create turns. This eliminates the need to purchase and install turning transitions and creates a savings in both material purchased and the cost of installation. The open architecture of the Snake Tray allows cable to enter or exit the system at any point in any direction and allows for easy upgrades or modification of your cable installation. The Snake Canyon product line interfaces directly with your raised floor to give you a 138-square inch cable path directly beneath your floor tile.

The Light Brigade, Inc. (Kent, WA) is a definite leader in the world of fiber optic training, seminars and courses. At COMNET in Washington, D.C., we interviewed Larry Johnson, President of The Light Brigade. He told us that over 20,000 people have completed Light Brigade's fiber optic training since 1987. The world of fiber optics is constantly changing and Larry directed us to a white paper on his website which deals with the problems that have developed with multimode fiber optic cables. The white paper was a real shocker. There are millions of feet of this type of cable installed in the end user's systems. What they don't know can hurt them. Check out their website at HINT: How fast can an LED blink?


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