Wednesday, April 6, 2005
Interview with John DiGiovanni, Director of Marketing, Xirrus
John DiGiovanni is Director of Marketing at Xirrus, a Westlake Village-based startup that just launched its WiFi access point products last week. I interviewed John to get a closer look at what Xirrus is up to.
BK: Thanks for talking to me about your launch. What's the Xirrus twist on the wireless LAN market, and can you describe what Xirrus products you are launching?
JD: We've developed the next generation in enterprise Wi-Fi deployment architecture called the Wireless LAN Array. The Wireless LAN Array integrates a WLAN switch and an array of Integrated Access Points in a single device delivering nearly a Gigabit of Wi-Fi bandwidth over an extended coverage area. In addition to the Wireless LAN Array, we have announced a centralized Management Platform and Remote Powering System.
BK: How is your WLAN switch different from the way people deploy wireless LANs today, and why do you think they'd prefer your solutions over alternatives?
JD: What's different is that we've combined the major components of a Wi-Fi network into a single device, namely the WLAN switch and up to 16 access points so you can think of it as the next generation in Wi-Fi. Competitive solutions on the market today are complicated, expensive and don't supply enough bandwidth to support the explosive growth of Wi-Fi portable computers and the new hybrid cellular/Wi-Fi phones that are hitting the market.
Our value proposition is straight forward; deploy 864Mbps of Wi-Fi bandwidth over 4 times the coverage area while using fewer devices. No other solution on the market today maximizes capacity and coverage in a single, easy to install device.
BK: It looks like you've got the entire Xircom crew over there at Xirrus -- Dirk Gates, and some other founders of Xircom?
JD: Xirrus was founded by Dirk Gates, Steve DeGennaro and Patrick Parker. Both Steve and Patrick spent many years on Xircom's Management Team. At Xircom, Steve was the Chief Financial Officer and Patrick was VP of Engineering and a General Manager so the core team has a shared history of success. In addition to the three founders, Kirk Mathews, who co-founded Xircom with Dirk, joined Xirrus as Chief Technologist early last year.
BK: I understand Dirk and other founders of the company have been funding Xirrus, and you currently aren't looking for venture capital. Do you think this might change as you ramp the company?
JD: Our business plan allows us to be self-funded through cash-flow positive. However, we understand the value that a quality, business-oriented VC can provide and, therefore, under the right circumstances, we will entertain bringing in outside funding
BK: Finally, how long have your WLAN products been under development, and when should we expect to see volume shipments to the market?
JD: Our products have been in development for about 18 months and production volume is expected May.