WARNING: Some of the pictures below are pretty big and might freak out your browser and/or cause slow load times for this page.
Last week, I and about 26 other analysts and media were in Huntsville, Alabama as guests of ADTRAN. The company was making its introductory launch of a unified communications (UC) software solution — a big step off the company’s traditional path of making telecommunications equipment such as switches, routers, and multi-service access solutions…more about that later.
Southern hospitality is the rule in Huntsville, so there’s a welcoming bag in the hotel room.
Inside the bag are samples of the area’s cultural touchstones–
Gotta love folks who provides you with Jack and coke upon check in, along with a Moon Pie, freeze-dried ice cream, and one of those Cracker Barrel triangle/golf tee games.
Our “home” for the next two days was ADTRAN’s Mark C. Smith Conference Center. People may recall that Smith also has a conference room named after him over at Digium.
Smith, the founder of ADTRAN, is still revered at the company and the values he established for running and operating the business are still in strong force.
ADTRAN has a total of three high-rise buildings around a “lake” in the office park.
The picture above is taken from a window of the conference center. Inside those buildings are a bunch of testing labs, one of two assembly lines for products, and a secure storage area to put products before they are shipped out.
This is the third building, and the one where the conference center is. It also has a manufacturing line and a whole bunch of testing labs.
ADTRAN CEO Tom Stanton welcoming the goonies, er media to the Unify press event.
Why Unify? ADTRAN is layering unified communications upon its product offerings, moving up the food chain from infrastructure to IP PBXes to apps. Company execs admit they aren’t sure how the introduction of a software product is going to affect their channel partner relationships – a startling honest statement from the traditional “everything has its place” engineering culture.