Optelian to double size of R&D, manufacturing facility

Published on the Ottawa Business Journal website.
June 15, 2011

Click here to view this article on OBJ.ca.

Optelian is moving to a facility double the size of its current location and is adding new research and development and manufacturing staff, the company announced Wednesday.

The Ottawa-based optical networking technology maker – which was recently named one of OBJ‘s Fastest Growing Companies of 2011 – said it’s moving its design and manufacturing operations to a larger facility to support rapid sales growth of its products and solutions.

“Our larger facility will enable us to continue to grow and support our customers better,” said Optelian CEO and co-founder Dave Weymouth in a statement.

The company has seen its revenue grow 55.8 per cent over the past three years, and co-founder Michael Perry said in an interview with OBJ that Optelian’s local staff of 115 people will expand by about 20 to 30 additional R&D and manufacturing employees, all of whom will work at the expanded facility.

About two-thirds of the new hires will work in engineering functions, while the balance will be manufacturing staff, said Mr. Perry, who’s also president of Optelian International Corp., the company’s U.S.-based arm.

Optelian’s new stomping grounds will move the company further west into the heart of Silicon Valley North. Mr. Perry added the 35,000-square-foot location is more than double its existing space and will support the manufacturing of its expanded LightGAIN and LightMUX product lines.

“The new facility takes us up two or three notches, not just in perception but also in functionality of space … we ran out of space about a year ago,” said Mr. Perry.

As well, the announcement included the news that Optelian has also recently moved into a new office in Marietta, Georgia, where its sales, marketing and service operations are located. That office employs “a core of about a dozen people,” said Mr. Perry, with a dozen more scattered across the United States, Dubai and India.

Optelian works with telecommunications customers to design and put together plug-and-play fibre-optic network systems with specific functional blocks of features and capabilities to fit client needs, taking a “building block” approach to its products.

Its more than 200 clients include telcos across the United States such as Montana’s Blackfoot Telecommunications and Georgia Public Web, and the firm is reaching out to customers in the Asia Pacific region, the European, Middle Eastern and African markets, the Caribbean and Latin American space, as well as North America through various distribution partners.

Mr. Perry added that Optelian is definitely in a “growth phase” as it looks to capitalize on the sizzling optical networking and carrier Ethernet market, which is being driven by the ever-increasing Internet and bandwidth usage in the smartphone era.

“If all our planning works out, we’re expecting to see continuous growth in Ottawa and Marietta over the next five years,” he said.

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