Thursday, December 3, 2009

Adtran Analyst Event Highlights

Well, it sure has been a great event here at Adtran. I'm not alone being impressed with how much high tech activity goes on in Huntsville, which is also the birthplace, more or less, of the U.S. space program. Very impressive, and am sure it's a great place to live and work. You don't have to look far around here for people or resources touting all the wonderful things about Huntsville, and that's all I'm gonna say.

This is Adtran's second analyst event, and many of us are first-timers. It's been a mutual learning experience, and it's all good. We're learning a lot about Adtran, and they're learning a lot about how to engage the analyst and media communities. There were some newsworthy items here - one of which involves a Canadian company - but we're under embargo now, so you'll just have to be patient.

Otherwise, we got good updates on both their enterprise and carrier divisions, as well as mobile backhaul, which is a real strength of theirs. For many of us, their focus on Unified Communications was the main event, and we got into a deeper dive session with them about this yesterday afternoon. On that note, there are 4 of us here from the UC Strategies fold, and we'll be doing a podcast recap of the event on Monday.

Lots of good information here, and they've looked after us well. I'll share a few photos with you now for a better sense of this.

Digium is the other big name tech company most people associate with Huntsville, and I got a quick visit with them before things started with Adtran. There'a a lot of history between these companies, and depending who you talk to, it's not all friendly.

If you've been to their building, you'll know what this is.

Got a quick lab tour...

Back to Adtran. Am not sure why they're calling this a press event, when most of us are analysts. I've shared my two cents with them about this, and I've got a feeling the name will change a bit next time around.

Morning sessions...

Lab and manufacturing facility tours...

Does your desk look like this?

IPTV testing...

Production floor...

Wall 'o phones - neat, huh? If they all rang at once, which one would you pick up first?

My favorite - the semi-anechoic chamber. That's a fancy name for a purpose-built space that tests for radio wave interference. Something like that, but if you're curious this might help. It looks like something out of Kubrick's 2001, and you don't get to see things like this every day - very cool.

After the day wrapped up, we went to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for a tour and dinner. This is quite the place, and it doesn't take long to get an appreciation for what the space program has contributed to the U.S. in so many ways. It's getting harder these days to find genuine points of pride about the U.S., but this sure is one of them. Definitely worthwhile.

Lots of history here - doesn't matter how old you are or how much you remember about what the space program accomplished, esp in the Sixties.

Saving the best for last. We had dinner under a Saturn 5 rocket. A real one. This thing is huge - looks about the length of a football field. I'm told this is just one of two left in existence - the other is at Cape Canaveral. So, if Saturn 5 rockets and ribs are your thing, it doesn't get any better that this. Thanks Adtran!

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