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
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
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
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.