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  • 27 March 2012 09:00

GFC opens door to more US sales for Opengear

Brisbane-based technology manufacturer Opengear, which sells most of its products in the US, reckons the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has been good for its business. For more details, call John Harris on 08 8431 4000 or email jharris@impress.com.au.

Australian technology export success Opengear, which sells most of its products in the US, reckons the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has been good for its business.

Set up in 2004, Queensland-based Opengear designs, manufactures and sells smart infrastructure management solutions based on open standards. More than 80 per cent of its sales come from the US. Last year, the company recorded growth of more than 60 per cent.

Opengear co-founder and chairman Bob Waldie said the GFC had introduced a new attitude to buying technology in the US and, increasingly, in Europe. “Traditionally, young Australian technology companies have faced a challenge to enter markets such as the US,” he said.

“However, this has changed internationally since this GFC came along. Overseas, companies no longer simply buy known technology brands because they are seen as ‘safe’. Now in the United States, and increasingly so in Europe, they recognise that investing in technology is not primarily just about minimising risk: it’s also very much about reducing their operating costs.

“Part of our value proposition in countries that have high operating costs is that the GFC has created compelling economic reasons why big businesses need to step out of their comfort zones to try new things.

“In terms of a start-up opportunity, the Global Financial Crisis has delivered a refreshing new view on technology acquisition. It has lowered the barriers to entry for smaller innovative companies like Opengear which are focused on selling products in the US and Europe.”

Opengear was established as an open systems network technology company focused on international markets. The experienced team of entrepreneurs and investors behind Opengear had previously worked together to build up and sell companies including Snapgear – now part of Intel – and Stallion Technologies.

Opengear has executive and engineering teams in Brisbane; sales and fulfilment teams in the US and has recently established a sales presence in the UK. Although it was founded in Australia, Opengear was structured with an American parent company to simplify US sales. Its first sales success was a range of affordable, highly functional serial consoles for data centres that provided a “cash cow” for several years. With this foothold in the data centre market, Opengear identified a need for end-to-end management solutions that encompass both Information Technology and Operational Technology such as physical security systems.

Last week, Opengear launched its new range of ACM5500 products at the Cisco Live conference in Melbourne. The ACM5500 family of devices makes it easy to monitor and manage remote IT network infrastructure and other critical equipment.

Mr. Waldie said Opengear’s latest range of products exploited the increasing convergence created by the Internet “Cloud” model. “I think the really juicy piece is end-to-end IT and network management products,” he said.

“Many service providers spend all their time managing network infrastructure. We saw that they can use the same technology that is used to manage their IT to also manage their OT (Operational Technology), including things like physical security.

“This market is still at the early stage of its development. Our advantage is we can afford to play that out because we have a strong existing revenue stream. You can succeed if you can afford to play at that early edge, with technology strength and capacity to scale. We have those leverage points.

“Opengear’s unfair advantage is our open source origins, our depth of experience in dealing with the security elements and our lean manufacturing model. We have the skills to design complex products and the agility to do it quickly. Our manufacturing cost is low and product quality is excellent. We can do things on a relatively small scale, at the leading edge of a growth market.

“Our advantage is our experience, patience and willingness to play in risky spaces.”

For media assistance or to request an interview with Bob Waldie, call John Harris at Impress Media Australia on 08 8431 4000 or email jharris@impress.com.au.

For media assistance, contact Impress Media Australia www.impress.com.au/opengear

Call John Harris on (08) 8431 4000 or email jharris@impress.com.au.

About Opengear http://www.opengear.com

Opengear develops secure enterprise-grade remote infrastructure management solutions. It designs and manufactures next generation console servers, cellular routers and remote monitoring and management gateways for secure remote access and control of routers, switches, servers, firewalls, telephony equipment, uninterruptible power supplies, power distribution units and environmental monitoring devices. Opengear's open standards platforms give network managers, IT managers and system administrators the most flexible, powerful, extensible and secure remote management solution on the market today.

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