The founder of EXFO on the future of the new private enterprise


Germain Lamonde, founder and majority shareholder of EXFO, said he expects “more of the same” from the company now that it is no longer public.

“There are a lot of reasons to go private,” Lamonde told Light Reading of his decision to push back a hostile takeover attempt by rival Viavi and make EXFO private again. But he said the company’s strategy as a private company will be the same as that employed as a public company: “The EXFO brand is really innovation driven.

He said the company will continue to sell test and measurement equipment for telecommunications networks to help operators make them more efficient, whether it is a fiber network or a network. 5G.

Lamonde explained that EXFO rejected Viavi’s takeover efforts in part because the company’s customers wanted to prevent the creation of a dominant supplier in the test and measurement market. Maintaining a competitive market with multiple suppliers “keeps the price reasonable” for customers, he explained.

Further, he said EXFO’s management team will no longer be tied to the rigors of quarterly financial reporting now that EXFO is private. And he suggested the company would be better able to make smart acquisitions as a private company.

To look forward

Lamonde said that EXFO sees a bright future in the sale of test and measurement equipment for fiber and 5G networks. “We are truly entering this new chapter with more energy than ever before,” he said.

In the fiber area, he said the company is seeing an increasing movement towards 400G and 800G products, and therefore will have products for these areas. And in 5G, he said that EXFO hopes to ease the transition from non-autonomous networks to autonomous networks by applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to its offerings.

As Lamonde leads EXFO into its new phase as a private company, it faces a handful of massive trends, both positive and negative.

On the bright side, he said the global trend for government broadband funding is “a good smart move.” This is not a surprise given that EXFO is likely to benefit from this kind of expense. In the United States, for example, lawmakers appear poised to pump nearly $ 65 billion into the telecommunications market over the next several years, money that will likely benefit all kinds of vendors and vendors.

On the negative side, however, Lamonde said EXFO has been hit by electronic component shortages that have sparked a number of different industries, from telecommunications to automobiles. He said EXFO had done “a very, very good job” of getting around the situation, although the company struggled to obtain enough components to continue supplying its customers.

It is interesting to note that EXFO has not yet been forced to increase the prices of its products due to the shortage of components. But he said the company may have to do so in the future if the situation persists.

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?? Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G and Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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