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Enterprise Insights Q & A with Dataprobe
Apr 5, 2006 – With David Weiss, CEO of Dataprobe

Dataprobe, a manufacturer of technology solutions for networking, systems and site management, recently announced record sales and revenue for 2005. David Weiss, CEO of Dataprobe, discusses the company's unprecedented contract wins, partnerships and product sales.

Q: In a nutshell, what does Dataprobe do?

A: Dataprobe provides a suite of solutions for improving the reliability and manageability of voice, data and networking systems. Our core competencies are in the areas of power distribution and management, redundant systems switching, telemetry systems and remote site monitoring.

Q: What makes a Dataprobe unique technology company? How do you stand out?

A: We pride ourselves in our ability to help customers clearly identify their requirements, and to tailor our solutions to meet their needs. Many of our standard offerings were outgrowths of specific requirements by customers. We carefully analyze each customization for additional marketability and work with the original requestor to, when applicable, bring the new solution to a wider marketplace.

Q: How and when did you personally get involved with the company?

A: The company was originally founded by my father in 1969. Early in my adult life, I did not envision succeeding him. Later, after I had pursued my own academic and business interests, I gained an appreciation for the inherent value of a family business. I started at Dataprobe in 1985, as a mechanical engineer and PCB designer. Eventually I became more and more involved in sales and business development. I became President and CEO in 2001.

Q: How would you describe your leadership/management style?

A: Like many companies of our size, we have a very flat management structure. This keeps the lines of communication wide open and allows us to move quickly and nimbly when the need arises. We keep formal meetings to a minimum and most interaction is ad hoc, quick team resolution. We provide an incentive profit sharing program that aids to empower our staff to support each other for the best interests of our customers, and ultimately our competitive position.

Q: I understand that you achieved record sales and revenues in 2005. How did you do this?

A: We achieved tremendous success this year by securing major contract wins, increasing product sales and securing key partnerships with resellers, bringing the company from $5.2 million in revenue in 2004 to over $9 million in 2005. We also posted record sales for our flagship product, the iBoot, selling more than 6,000 units in 2005, with sales projected to continue to increase in 2006.

Q: Can you describe some of your specific customer wins?

A: In 2004, we were subcontracted by Harris Corporation to assist in overhauling the communications infrastructure for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). We provide automated redundancy switching for communications between air traffic controllers and pilots. We worked very closely with Harris to re-design a standard product to meet the exacting demands of the FAA. We are very proud of our participation in a program that provides safety and reliability to everyone in the air traveling public.

In addition to Harris Corporation and the FAA, major customers included IBM, Northwest Airlines, the US Navy, MCI, and Sun Microsystems. Dataprobe continued to expand our reseller network both domestically and internationally, while new and expanding technology partners also highlighted 2005. Dataprobe is now recognized as the leading provider of failover solutions for major call center solutions providers such as Interactive Intelligence, Vertical, and Altegen.

Q: Did you also expand your product portfolio?

A: This past year, we released several new products and expanded several product lines. Our T-1 Protection Switch, T-APS was introduced this year, extending our products for high availability communications systems. We also launched the COE-8 family of products, which provides transport of legacy status and control systems over networks. These products, along with the success of the iBoot, helped spur overall sales to record heights.

Q: Can you tell me more about your flagship product, the iBoot?

A: The iBoot is a networked power switch. iBoot allows anyone with a browser to reboot crashed servers, routers, kiosks, etc. iBoot also has automatic monitoring and power control features, that detect outages and respond by re-booting the failed device. iBoot provides tremendous value in eliminating service calls and minimizing downtime. It's a great off-the-shelf solution for businesses with geographically dispersed systems.

Q: Do you have any interesting or unique customer case studies that you can share?

A: We regularly hear back from customers regarding our products and how they're being used. One interesting application we've seen was with a customer operating a business in the Canary Islands, of all places. The customer runs a virtual, online observatory called Slooh, which relies on an autonomous high-powered telescope on an island to feed live 'tours' of space to online subscribers. The island, though, is prone to particularly harsh winters. Since no one on staff could stay on site to run the telescopic equipment, the customer used our iBoot to remotely control a basic radiator. This allowed him to periodically heat his equipment and prevent damage and downtime due to the cold weather. Needless to say, the islands recently had one of the harshest winters in history, and his observatory was the only one still operating- thanks to the iBoot.

Q: What does the future have in store for Dataprobe?

A: We're certainly proud of our successes in 2005, but we're always looking to the future. On March 1, we expanded business operations by officially opening our first satellite office. The new facility is located outside of Paris, France and will help us to pursue more international customers and channel partners, while serving as a hub for business development, sales and training. We also have a number of new products and product upgrades we're working to complete over the next few months, which we hope will continue to bolster our sales and position in the marketplace.



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