by Joseph N. DiStefano, Posted: September 19, 2011
Fiberlink, the Blue Bell-based computer connectivity and security firm that counts AstraZeneca, Fluor, Independence Blue Cross, Phillips Van Housen, and other big and midsized companies among its clients, has hired 25 inside sales and marketing people so far this year, and plans another 75 over the next year, to keep up with demand for the mobile, cloud-based version of its software, says chief financial officer Mark Partin.
That would boost Fiberlink employment to 250, the most it's been since Partin joined in 2005. "Behind the surge has been the innovation that's arrived with the proliferation of smart phones and the consumerization of IT," Partin told me. "An executive comes to the IT guy and wants corporate email on the new iPhone or Android. That opens a host of new challenges."
"Consumerization"? It means using your own iPhone for work, and letting your boss ban Angry Birds or take over some other more fundamental application in the bargain - "blacklist or whitelist, to protect the company data."
Fiberlink, started by chief executive Jim Sheward and partner Paul Russell in 1992, races to stay current with new ways of linking workers and info tech. "Early on that meant solving problems for road warriers, moving on to dial-up, protecting the laptop at the endpoint of the company systems,WiFi, 3G," Partin told me. The current version "can be downloaded quickly from the cloud: software-as-a-service."
Fiberlink is backed by $50 million from Silicon Valley-based Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) invested in 2003, and $30 milion from GE Equity, Goldman Sachs and others in 2000. Won't they want their cash back soon? "We've been a very good investment, we've returned money," Partin said. (Won't say how much.) "They're late-stage investors. They are patient about returns. And they are excited about growth."
Posted: September 19, 2011 - 2:43 PM
Joseph N. DiStefano
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