Federal grant optimises Exinda opportunity

Fledgling software developer, Exinda Networks, has been given a boost after winning a Federal Government grant to develop and market its Internet optimisation technology for national and international distribution.

Exinda was awarded $52,000 under the AusIndustry Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) grants program to develop its "low-cost, Internet optimisation network appliance" according to director, Anthony Bodin.

Exinda would use the funds to do some benchmark testing of its product and some overseas market research, Bodin said.

"We need to test the product and measure how it stacks up against its competitors," he said. "We believe it offers equal or better performance compared to other products on the market but we have to have independent validation of that to show that we can deliver on what we are saying the appliance can do.

"We then have to do some research as to just how big the market for this product could be and what sort of competition there is for it."

Winning the grant was the result of "a highly competitive process" with winners judged by an independent private sector group. The company had to prove that it had a product or service with "demonstrable business potential" and a track record that it could "plan and execute a business plan", Bodin said.

"Fundamentally, Exinda is a software development house but what we have done here is design and engineer our own appliance that we have applied the technology to," he said. "You can purchase the product in two forms either as software to run on a standard Intel platform or as the turnkey appliance where we supply the unified hardware and software combination."

Bodin was confident that network integrators and managed service providers would be very interested in the software and the appliance.

"Anyone that is in the business of deploying, optimising and managing IP networks will find this product a great value-add," he said. "It complements having a tier-one network.

"One of the most important features of the product is its powerful reporting tools. If a customer is complaining that there network is underperforming then this will allow for suppliers to demonstrate just where the network is being slowed down.

"It will then allow for prioritising of applications to maximise the efficiency of the bandwidth they have got. The thing that we are constantly trying to get across to customers is that does it really matter of your email is sent three seconds later but if you are running a Citrix session with three second response from the host, it is unusable.

"So what we do is ensure that there is a quality of service to the key applications over and above the non-time critical applications such as email."

Exinda is a three-year-old company started up by a group of former RMIT researchers. It currently employs eight people and has distribution agreements with operators in seven countries, including Australia where TechPlus Distribution markets the product.

Exinda has outsourced manufacturing of its rack-mountable network optimisation appliance which has an RRP of $3990 (plus GST) and which interfaces with a normal PC. It can also stand on a desktop and has already been installed in more than 100 sites in Australia and South-East Asia.

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