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A HISTORY OF COMPUTER COMMUNICATIONS: 1968 -1988

WELLFLEET IN BRIEF

In May 1986, Paul Severino, along with four fellow members of Interlan, founded Wellfleet Communications to design and sell high performance, multi-protocol internetworking products. Severino, who had founded Interlan in May 1981 to sell Ethernet products, concluded the under-capitalized Interlan needed a safe-haven and engineered the acquisition by Micom on March 1, 1985 for $65 million. He then assumed the role of Micom vice-president for corporate strategy. Only a staff position did not fit the entrepreneurial Severino and, in September 1985, he left to find a new opportunity around which to start a new company. Looking first at the allegedly hot manufacturing market, he failed to find a compelling idea. What kept returning was the need to interconnect LANs with T-1 circuits: the nascent Internetworking market. Wellfleet announced its first product before yearend 1987 and began shipping product for revenue in the middle of 1988. They would become a leader in the emerging Internetworking market along with cisco Systems. Wellfleet would go public in 1991 and merge with Synoptics in 1994 to form Bay Networks. In 1998, the giant telecommunications firms, Nortel, would acquire Bay Networks.