2005 Pulver 100 Announced Today

The Pulver 100 has been a barometer of innovation among private companies in the world of IP since 2002. It is increasingly becoming a key touchpoint of recognition in a space that is getting more crowded every year, as well more complex to monitor. With the gold rush mentality in full force these days, we need yardsticks like the Pulver 100 more than ever to identify the best of what�s coming around the bend.

This year�s winners were just announced, with the complete list presented in the press release. At this point, there is no gradation within the list � it�s just an alphabetical rundown. One of the hats I wear in working with Pulvermedia is to analyze the makeup of this list, and some of my comments are included in the press release. This blog post serves to add a bit more detail for those who want to better understand what kind of companies are making this list.

Comments About 2005 Winners

First to consider is the type of company. The vast majority of this year�s Pulver 100 are vendors � 89 � no surprise there. Service providers account for the rest, with 9 being carriers of some type, and 2 providing services to carriers. So, it�s nice to see that the Pulver 100 is not just a vendor popularity contest � it does cater to the full spectrum of the IP ecosystem.

Reinforcing that point is the market focus of these companies. Most are focused on carriers � 60 � but the balance do business elsewhere, with 30 catering to the enterprise market, and 10 serving the consumer market. I think this says a lot about the diversity of this year�s group. A year or two ago, and you would have barely seen any consumer focus, and I suspect this segment will only grow as IP becomes more mainstream.

By geography, this is not just about the U.S., although the mix largely reflects where the VON shows have had the broadest reach. U.S. companies accounted for 58 of the winners, which I think is actually pretty representative of their global market presence in IP. Of course that can be defined many ways, but overall it rings pretty true for me. That said, Europe had 22 winners, followed by Canada with 13 (whoo hoo!), then Israel with 6. Finally, AsiaPac had just 1 winner, which is not a fair indicator of the innovation coming from there. However, VON has had limited presence in AsiaPac, so it�s pretty much to be expected. And to be fair to Pulvermedia, as the VON shows become more global, I have no doubt that we�ll see more AsiaPac companies in future Pulver 100s.

Historical Perspective

I�d also like to comment on the longitudinal aspect of the Pulver 100. Looking over the winners from the past 3 years, it�s really interesting to see how the list changes over time. IP is in the classic early growth stage, but as we know, consolidation is happening a lot more. As a matter of course, then, there will be attrition, startups, exits, mergers, acquisitions, re-naming, etc. With that said, here is how the list has evolved:

- There are 27 new companies this year compared to 2004. Please note � the press release issued by Pulvermedia says 29. That was the initial number, but upon subsequent review, I discovered that 2 of these had changed their name, and were not new after all.

- Compared to 2003, 71 of this year�s Pulver 100 are new

- Only 31 companies have made the Pulver 100 in each of the last 3 years � 2003, 2004 and 2005

Who are these 31 �perennials�? I�d have to think that if I was looking to put money into a company that�s got a better-than-average chance of success in a sector that hasn�t seen much in the way of profits or ROI, these would be a pretty good acid test:

Acme Packet, Bay Packets, BlueSlice Networks, BroadSoft, Citel, Convedia, Commetrex, Hotsip, i3 Micro, Ingate Systems, Intertex Data, IP Unity, LongBoard (now Persona Software), M5 Networks, MetaSwitch, Natural Convergence, NetCentrex, Netrake, NexTone, OnRelay, Pactolus, Paltalk, Psytechnics, Surf Communications, Swyx, Sylantro, Telchemy, Tellme Networks, Trinity Convergence, Vonage, WebMessenger

I did not do an extensive analysis of the 2002 winners, but a quick scan indicates that all of the above companies, with 4 exceptions, were also in the 2002 list. So, most of these have in fact, made the Pulver 100 in each of the 4 years the list has been running. The 4 companies who were not in the 2002 list are BlueSlice Networks, Intertex Data, Psytechnics, and Trinity Convergence. Thanks to Patrick McCormick for noting a couple of omissions from my initial posting this morning.

Finally, if you�re a bit more speculative, and just want to look at the freshmen of this elite group, here are the 27 first timers for 2005:

Abbeynet, Allot Communications, Apparent Networks, Camfrog, Carbon Twelve, CTI2, Empirix, Eyeball Networks, Fonality, Go2Call, Interoute, Jungo Software, Kayote Networks, KoolSpan, Lignup, New Heights Software, Owera, QuesCom, Sling Media, snom Technology, Spirit DSP, Sysmaster, TalkSwitch, Telepo, Versatel Networks, Voxeo, XConnect

Note - actually, 26 are true first-timers - Voxeo was also in the 2002 Pulver 100. Kudos again to Patrick McCormick who astutely pointed this out.

If you�re still following me a year from now, you can bet I�ll be revisiting this list to see how these winners fared in their sophomore year. Mark your calendars!