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A HISTORY OF COMPUTER COMMUNICATIONS: 1968 -1988

NETWORK EQUIPMENT TECHNOLOGIES IN BRIEF

When Audrey MacLean, Roger Chrisman and Art Case resigned from Tymnet in July 1982, they intended to design and build a networking T-1 multiplexer that Tymnet management had declined to pursue. Little did they anticipate that by August Case would part company to lead an effort to start yet another T-1 start-up: Cohesive Systems. The loss of Case forced MacLean and Chrisman to recruit engineering talent, for example Walt Gill and Robbie Forkish, and, before they could close their first round of venture capital a President, Bruce Smith. It would take nearly a year, until August 1983, before they closed their first round of venture capital and Network Equipment Technologies (NET) was formally founded. In September 1984, they shipped their beta release of the Integrated Digital Network Exchange (IDNX) T-1 multiplexer and secured a second round of venture capital. In January 1985, NET began shipping IDNX’s for revenue. Success came fast. Profitability was attained in the second quarter of 1986 and NET went public in January 1987 with a post money valuation of nearly $200 million. In 1987, market pressures and distribution strategies led management to acquire a Data Communication company, ComDesign, sign contracts with computer companies, IBM and Hewlett Packard. Distribution contracts with other Internetworking companies such as Newbridge Networks and Network Systems, would follow. In 1988, NET attempted to acquire a LAN company, Excelan, and successfully signed a development contract with cisco Systems. The future would not always be so easy. Even so, NET continued to weather problems and remained a viable market presence.