Stellar Startup: Stand up for your digital rights

I can hear it now: "Shamah, this is supposed to be a computer column, not a consumer one!"

September 9, 2007 08:08
ethos shamah 88 224

ethos shamah 88 224. (photo credit: )


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Many new olim get very upset when they come face to face with what passes for "service" among some tradesmen, retailers or service providers in this country. It's appalling, sometimes, the way "they" take your money, and then provide you with a substandard product/service, without blinking an eye. "It wasn't like this in the US/UK/Canada" or wherever it is they came from. Well, maybe it was and maybe it wasn't. I've been in Israel quite a few years, but I still recall dealing with more than one surly civil servant or other service provider back in New York. But that's all in the past; one of our burdens as Western olim is to "educate" those who do not believe in the concept of "value for money." While the concept seems to be catching on (I have to say that doing business at the Interior Ministry these days is a pleasure), there is still plenty of work to be done, if you know what I mean. So what can we do about substandard service? Very simple - complain, loudly if necessary, and accept no excuses. If they committed to a certain price, or delivery by a certain date, or a certain level of service, they have to pony up. We're not interested in the whys and wherefores of what is going on behind the scenes of the restaurant that can't feed us in the manner promised or the auto repair shop that doesn't fix things the way it's supposed to. Bottom line - if they said they would do it, then they have to do it. If they can't make money doing it the way they said they would, they need to go back to the drawing board, before making impossible to keep promises. You have rights, too - and by complaining you're really doing them a favor, by keeping them honest. I can hear it now: "Shamah, this is supposed to be a computer column, not a consumer one!" Interestingly, though, the problem of substandard service is not limited to churlish restaurateurs; phone companies and Internet service providers are guilty, too. Like when you pay for a 1.5 MB Internet ADSL connection, but only get on average maybe two-thirds of that speed. Have you ever wondered how the "phone company" (it's a problem all over the world, not just in Israel) gets away with that? We accept as a fact of life that their networks are overloaded, slow, in need of an upgrade, or that our house is too far from the ADSL switch to get the maximum bandwidth. But why do they get a "pass?" Because we don't understand the technology? Shouldn't we be as demanding in our relationship with ISPs, the phone company, or whoever else is responsible for out not getting our money's worth? Well, even if you don't, Dr. Yuval Davidor, co-founder and CEO of Herzliya's Ethos Networks does - and based on an invention by Haiym Porat, co-founder and CTO, along with some of the top people in the field of communication networks, the company has designed a new, innovative method of networking communication - guaranteed to increase delivered networking bandwidth and quality of service offered by service providers, especially in crowded urban environments, while allowing service providers to maintain and increase profits - a system that, from the consumer's point of view, will keep service providers "honest" by enabling them to live up to the high-speed Internet Web 2.0 promises that they made. Not that we really care, but, Dr. Davidor says running a large-scale communications system utilizing the existing legacy telephony-oriented system is a losing proposition for telecom service provider companies, especially today. Dedicated telephony networks are expensive to maintain, but if you're a phone company, you really have no choice - you can't maintain the kind of service levels consumers demand using IP packet switching schemes on a wide-scale basis. IP networking technology, on the other hand, is just fine for Internet connections or other data services; a one or two second gap in delivering data is no tragedy, but you can't run a phone network that way. That, though, is a problem - for everybody. Because in today's telecommunication world, everyone, from ISPs to cable TV companies to telephone companies want to offer the full range of telecommunication services - voice, data, and video, the holy grail "Triple Play" of telecom ( that is all the rage today. But voice and data communications have different needs when it comes to building a network, and companies that compromise find themselves either losing out because they can't sell the full range of services customers demand, or they end up spending gobs of money patching together ad-hoc solutions to deliver the services customers want - wasting resources and money to essentially make a square service peg fit into a round infrastructure hole. That, says Dr. Davidor, is where Ethos Networks' technology can help. The company has developed a top-grade networking solution that will speed things up significantly, ensure quality of service for all services - including voice - and allow companies to take advantage of unused infrastructure to ensure maximum profitability, as opposed to having to dedicate infrastructure to services to ensure reliability and quality of service. How? By "thinking out of the box" and innovatively applying new state-of-the-art versions of the ever-popular Ethernet standard (802.1ah Provider Backbone Bridging). By applying algorithms the company has developed, says Dr. Davidor, the company "can simplify systems to save money and increase profitability for telecom service providers, while allowing them to offer more service varieties like 'guaranteed fairness' or service bundling based on customer needs." Ethos Networks' connection-oriented carrier grade Ethernet solutions (details of the technology can be found at "gives intelligence to Ethernet," says Dr. Davidor, giving the standard a reliability and quality of service it never had before. Ethernet is simple to implement and is accepted by everyone; there are plenty of people who understand it, and with the improvements Ethos Networks has brought to Ethernet - the leader in the area of such innovative development, though many have tried, Dr. Davidor said - companies "can get the most out of their existing infrastructure." Ethos has built its technology into several network switches that telecom service provider companies can install at their sites - and once providers experience the service simplicity and service richness Ethos can bring them, there'll be no turning back, Dr. Davidor says. Ethos Networks is already cooperating with some telecom service provider companies in Europe already, setting up trials. And the company just raised $8 million in its second round of financing, bringing its total financing to $14m. so far. So, clearly the VC community believes in Ethos Networks' vision. And what a vision it is - ensuring that we, as consumers, get what's coming to us when we sign up for voice and digital services, with the highest possible quality level possible.

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