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Founded in 1981 as Data Connection Limited by Ian S. Ferguson and 6 others, all formerly in various engineering, sales and management roles at IBM. The company signs its first deal to write communications software for networked retail point of sale systems.
At the end of its first financial year, the company turns a profit, setting a track record of stability that has not been broken to this day.
Seeking to establish an enduring organization with a long-term perspective, the Founders establish the Employee Benefit Trust to own the company on the behalf of all employees.
First portable network protocol stack (IBM System Network Architecture) fast becomes the industry standard implementation, soon followed by ATM and X.400/X.500.
The company develops expertise in real-time IP communications, and invests in an interesting idea for "application sharing" across networks. The technology receives several patents and is acquired by Microsoft, who release it as Microsoft NetMeeting, sponsor its publication as an ITU standard (T.128) and eventually incorporate it into Windows. Metaswitch ports the technology to UNIX, adding H.323 audio/video conferencing, and it is licensed to all the major Unix vendors.
The Microsoft relationship extends to include SNA and Messaging, with Metaswitch providing the core technology in Microsoft’s SNA Server and Exchange Server products, among others.
The company receives two Queen's Awards for Export achievement.
Major investment in MPLS and Optical Routing protocols result in industry leadership in the fast-growing optical networking arena.
Towards the end of the decade, seeing a major opportunity in broadband voice, the company sets up a small team to explore the possibility of multi-protocol session control engine, then known as "DC-Metaswitch". The decision is made to combine that software with a hardware platform and establish a business unit to market the solution direct to carriers.
The fledgling carrier systems division comes out of stealth mode, launching its first product, the Metaswitch VP3000 Broadband Voice Platform. The brand Metaswitch is launched.
First to market with Generalized MPLS (GMPLS) protocol stack, soon followed by first-to-market implementations of OIF UNIv1.0 and LMP, confirming market leadership in Optical Control Plane software.
Looking to the growth of IP Multimedia Subsystem, the company releases its first IMS protocol stacks including Megaco/H.248, Diameter, SCTP, and the industry’s first fault-tolerant Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) implementation. These IMS building blocks are licensed by all the leading vendors building highly scalable, fault tolerant IMS solutions.
Extension of network protocols to IP Routing including OSPF, BGP and IS-IS.
DC-SBC is launched. It is the industry’s first session border controller implementation designed specifically for integration by OEMs.
Third Queen's Award for Enterprise Achievement.
The company takes its first external investment, from Francisco Partners and Sequoia Capital.
After 28 years at the helm as CEO, Ian Ferguson hands over the reins to John Lazar and steps back to a non-executive chairman role.
The company's two formerly separate business brands (Data Connection and Metaswitch) are merged into a single corporate brand, Metaswitch Networks.
Kevin DeNuccio, former Redback Networks and Cisco executive, is appointed as CEO, while John Lazar is promoted to chairman of the board. Founder Ian Ferguson remains on the board as chairman of the Employee Benefit Trust.
After two years as CEO, Kevin DeNuccio returns the office to his predecessor, John Lazar. Kevin continues to focus on strategic initiatives that can complement Metaswitch's core business plan and product portfolio.
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