Corrections or additions?
Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on May 3, 2000. All rights reserved.
Business to business software is in its infancy, says
Nixon Patel, co-founder of eComServer, the fast growing Route 1 software
firm. "But once you open up a portal, it is like climbing a mountain.
As you go higher, you see more. There is an immense opportunity just
to automate the way different businesses talk to each other. As you
climb, you see more things to be done."
Nixon Patel, Raj K. Salgam, and Rakesh Patel (no relation) founded
eComServer two years ago in shared office space at HQ in Princeton
Forrestal Village. Now eComServer has about 80 employees in 10,000
square feet in the Guest Supply building at 4301 Route 1 South, and
120 workers in India in 10,000 square feet at a high tech city park
in Hyderabad, the huge software development center with such neighbors
as Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle. The firm opened a 30-person office
in Madison Square Garden on May 1 and has plans to expand to Europe.
But eComServer keeps its "presence" at HQ in Princeton Forrestal
Village, not only for the Princeton mailing address but also because
of emotional ties. "It is where the three of us spent night after
night after night, wondering how to make this happen," says Patel.
He notes with irony that the post office does not deliver to the company’s
new location in Monmouth Junction. "That is so surprising in this
day and age, in the heart of New Jersey, in a building that has two
publicly traded companies (Guest Supply and Ikon Document Services)
that the post office does not deliver mail." Everyone in
this building gets mail through a box at the Monmouth Junction post
The founders report that the company is well-funded by both angel
investors as well as venture capitalists, some located in the United
States and some in Spain. "As per our business plan we will be
profitable by the end of this year," says Salgam. "Unlike
other Internet companies we have a very strong services division that
is enabling us to break even. We are building up the business to business
E-commerce and believe it will also be profitable by first quarter
Products to improve automated voice response systems are prominent
in the eComServer lineup. Many deal with the Lucent Conversant platform,
an interactive voice response (IVR) system with customer service applications,
usually for automated information giving and receiving. Users navigate
these self-service systems by pressing buttons or saying something.
The Conversant platforms start in the $20,000 range and are being
used by Fortune 1000 companies ranging from banks to catalog companies,
says a Lucent spokesperson.
Here are some of eComServer’s products:
Protocol using manager stations of HP, Tivoli (an IBM-based product),
Castle Rock, and the Web. eComServer has partnered with Lucent Technologies
to devise alarm systems for the Conversant platform. These platforms
monitor inbound voice calls and Lucent has sold more than 300 $2,500
licenses for them.
These programs can page or E-mail support people. Real-time alarm
reporting is triggered by such potential problems as low disk space
or no dial tone. The system can do "triage" and put problems
in categories of critical, major, minor, or informational.
for supervisors to log onto individual Conversant systems. eComServer
licenses these $1,000 packages to Lucent. Potential clients for this
Windows-based package might be Fortune 500 or Fortune 1000 companies
applications for Lucent’s Conversant IVR to consolidate reports,
deploy software, and do version control. Lucent sells this add-on.
workflow management) for telecommunications switches and for IVR.
This lets voice mail messages be heard from the Web. "In the future
when you call for bank balance and mortgage information, you will
be able to administer the menus and adjust the workflow so that you
won’t have to go through five different menus. We have a 12-member
team working on the product and believe it will be ready in four months,"
and it is good to be a little company that provides a product for
a big company," says Gary Pudles of AnswerNet on Witherspoon Street (www.answernetnetwork.com).
Founded by William Robertshaw, AnswerNet has bought a majority share
in Signius Corp. (another telemessaging processing firm founded by
Robertshaw) and is now the largest telemessaging firm in North America.
"eComServer is taking the existing paradigm for old technologies
— alarm systems and systems control — and moving them to the
new platform, which is a Lucent system. The platforms will continue
to change, but the concept is tried and true," says Pudles.
Salgam, the CEO, graduated as an electrical engineer from Jawaharlal
Nehru Technological University in 1984 and did his master’s degree
at Villanova. He then worked at Bell Labs in Lincroft and Holmdel
as a consultant. He was a key manager at Web Sci Technologies on Route
1 North for nine years and co-founded the company as an S Corporation
with Nixon Patel and Rakesh Patel in 1998. He had known Rakesh Patel
from Bell Labs and met Nixon Patel socially. He is married and has
a school-aged son and preschool daughter. His father is an accountant,
and he has two brothers (one remaining in India) and a sister who
lives in New Jersey.
Nixon Patel, president and CTO, is an alumnus of the Indian Institute
of Technology in Kharagbur, known for its electrical and computer
science, Class of 1985. A native of Calcutta, where his father was
a chemist and had his own business, he went to New Jersey Institute
of Technology for his master’s degree then did networking research
at Research Triangle Park for IBM. He has been married for almost
15 years and has two school age children.
"About the time I started my thesis, I took a job on Wall Street.
I started the derivatives group for Smith Barney and worked for other
brokerages," says Patel. He did the first foreign exchange Web-based
system for J.P. Morgan, reconfigured the derivatives system for Daichi
Bank, and was one of four consultants to structure the "value
at risk" program for the merger of Chase and Chemical. He helped
found one company that grew to 80 people by the time he left, and
had another small company that worked on real-time distributed risk
Patel’s vision in March, 1998, was to address the business to business
E-commerce market. At the time he was working with Dresdner Bank;
he knew Rakesh Patel. Between them, they have strong ties with Lucent,
Oracle, and Netscape. "I knew all these old relationships and
partnerships in the application server market were going to boom,"
"We are looking for hyper-growth, $45 to $50 million revenue by
2002," says Patel. "What we see now is just the tip of the
iceberg. The production group in New York has an exciting XML technology
driven by intelligent agents to make businesses work more efficiently
and create systems to make everything more open."
The company refuses to be worried about lagging tech stocks. "We
believe that there has to be a healthy correction and that it is good
for the economy," says Salgam. He says he has "incentified"
his employees with a strong stock option plan. "The only thing
that can affect our business is the core inflation rate."
Salgam compares the IT world with the manufacturing industry and predicts
that more of the intellectual property and creative work will happen
in the United States but that the actual programming will get pushed
off in the future: "The important thing is that the creative high
end will be done in the United States. The U.S. is the most productive
nation in the world and they have the most creative workforce. In
the leading force of all adopting and using technology, the U.S. is
always ahead, and even more so in the electronic and information age."
That the company gets labeled as being Indian because its officers
are from India is understandable, he says, "but it doesn’t reflect
the truth. No work we get here has been shipped to India, though we
may do that obviously in the future."
Salgam emphasizes that most of his workers are citizens or hold green
cards. "We are an American company," he says, "and most
of us have been here for 15 years. We have chosen to locate here in
a 50-mile radius of the major pharmaceutical, financial, and telecommunications
firms. America is a melting pot."
Executive Center, Suite 220, Monmouth Junction. Mailing address: 116
Village Boulevard, Suite 200, Princeton Forrestal Village 08540. 800-348-9664;
fax, 888-979-8800. Home page: www.ecomserver.com.
Professional Center, Suite 3, Dayton 08810. Wayne Kaminski. 732-329-9495;
The computer repair service has opened at this location. It has corporate
clients, mostly in north Jersey, New York, and Long Island, for which
it repairs big printers, PCs, and networks, usually on maintenance
Suite 1, Jamesburg 08831. Peter Mathe, sales manager. 609-395-9912;
fax, 609-395-9916. Home page: www.br-automation.com.
This firm has moved from 211 North Center Drive, North Brunswick.
Based in Georgia, it sells operator panels, PLCs, and industrial computers.
Center, Suite 600, Plainsboro 08536. Robert M. Dilatush, special agent.
609-799-1920; fax, 609-799-1646. www.prudential.com.
This insurance office moved within Princeton Meadows Office park from
Suite 308 to Suite 600. Robert Dilatush offers homeowners, auto, and
Cranbury 08512. 609-655-2200.
The retail seller of electronic burglar, fire, card access, and CCTV
alarm systems has closed this 120-person office and divided the accounts
three ways, between Edison, Pennsauken, and Moorestown.
600, Plainsboro 08536. 609-275-7120.
The computer leasing company has moved to larger space in Neptune.
A staff person declined to give further details.
Square, Princeton 08542. Henry Gross, owner. 609-924-6088.
Henry Gross filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. Court papers
show that he owes about $200,000 to Starbare Associates, which has
liens on his equipment, merchandise, and his home.
The store had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1992 and four years
later moved from a prime walk-in location at One Palmer Square to
a smaller store at 51 Hulfish Street. It sells sporting goods, many
with the Princeton name or university logo.
08540. Home page: www.tachyonsystems.com.
In the April 19 issue of U.S. 1, the photo of Keith Danko at his desk
shows a Bloomberg terminal, not a proprietary product of Tachyon
Systems, as the U.S. 1 caption suggested. U.S. 1 regrets the error.
Issa I. Edmonds, 67, on April 21. She worked with J&J Temporary,
Total Research, and Department of Environmental Protection.
Corrections or additions?
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