Patton Electronics: Connecting People by Overcoming Geographical Boundaries
Originally published in InsightsSuccess
For any business, seamless communication is the mantra of success. By integrating voice, email, messaging and conferencing tools, uified communications (UC) is the way to achieve this success. Patton Electronics offers a unique set of competencies and capabilities that help companies bring their UC dreams into reality.
Patton is doing some unusual things that no other network equipment manufacturer does to enable UC implementations. For example, the SmartNode line of enterprise session border controllers (eSBC) are able to address a broad range of networking functions: IP security, legacy telephony integration (analog and ISDN), network demarcation, and much more—all in a single customer premise device. Patton’s CopperLink line of Ethernet extenders and Power-over-Ethernet extenders, enables the Internet of Things (IoT) –as well as cloud connectivity—by helping companies to connect IP endpoints to their corporate networks over very long distances using existing copper or coaxial network cabling infrastructure. What Patton is doing today in the UC area, is a lot like what they have done in the technology business for the past 30 years…
Patton is all about connections. It is their joy and mission to connect real-world customer challenges with high-quality, right-priced solutions—complemented by unrivaled customer service and technical support.
Incorporated in 1984, Patton has built everything from micro-sized widgets that connect “this-with-that,” to carrier-grade telecom gear that connects subscribers to service providers. Patton’s specialty is interconnecting legacy TDM and serial systems with new-generation IP-based voice, data, and multimedia technologies.
It’s all about Connections
Connections are embeded in Patton’s DNA. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, Patton works in connection with a growing network of technology, business, and sales-channel partners. Patton equipment—including VoIP CPE, Ethernet extenders, and high-availability routers—is up and running in carrier, enterprise and industrial network worldwide. Patton connects with local-market requirements by operating training and support sales centers in Switzerland, Hungary, Lebanon, India, Vietnam, Australia, and the USA.
Patton’s corporate capabilities include custom manufacturing, private labeling, product customization, microphonics testing and eradication, software development, hardware development (including COTS and open source platforms), database solutions, IMS migration support, embedded Linux, and real-time embedded systems for “big data” solutions.
An Aspiring Leader who Brought Change
Robert R. Patton (Bobby) was appointed CEO in January 2009, having been responsible for company operations as President since January 1, 2000. Bobby’s primary responsibility is to oversee and deliver on the company’s performance, bringing particular attention to product strategy and customer satisfaction. Bobby is focused on building the Patton culture to be ever more responsive to customer needs, new technologies and market dynamics amidst a very volatile economy.
Bobby has a rich background, having held numerous positions since co-founding Patton in 1984 with two of his brothers. He shaped the organization to introduce dozens of new products every year throughout the 1990s.
Bobby holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science for Univeristy of Maryland. He is active on the Montgomery County Executive Business Advisory Group and was appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce to serve a four year term on the Maryland-DC District Export Council, working closely with the US Department of Commerce Commercial Service.
Leaving no Stone Unturned
“Patton has been around for over 30 years. The products from our early years were far from the Unified Communications space. We, like most start-up companies, had a niche. It was difficult for us to identify the best path to market for our niche. We had to try several methods of promotion and sales before we found the magic for those products – which was direct-mail marketing and direct selling. These days, revenue in Unified Communications is built through eco-systems and channel partners. The products we offer are a part of a larger solution, and require strong partnerships. The lesson for us is that each product offering needs a fresh look at the best way to market. Experiments should be done quickly to find out what methods have traction.” – asserts Bobby.
Patton is an SMB Serving SMBs
Patton understands the challenges small and mid-sized business (SMBs) face. Even though the company conducts multi-nation operations, Patton remains a family-owned and operated SMB. For Patton, understanding the SMB requirement to integrate legacy technology with emerging and future technologies is essential. Most SMBs have a fax or an intercom or some other device they can’t do without. Patton offers solutions that keep those things alive while migrating at a comfortable pace to the ALL-IP network and UC. The new Power-over-Ethernet product lines offer a cost-effective way to bring all those legacy devices into the Internet of Things (IoT). Patton has kept most of its old-fashioned products alive: interface converters, short-range modems and remote access servers. There is a lot of business there from customers who can’t find what they need anywhere else. Yet Patton is perpetually moving forward, with an eye on technology trends and futures including Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN).
Shared Leadership and Vision
Bobby’s brother and company co-founder, Burton A. Patton (Burt), Executive Vice President, and Head of Sales and Marketing, also provides an important shaping influence on the company. Sharing his vision for the future of UC, Burt observed:
“The world of business communications has been evolving and it’s not just about converging telephony with presence and other communication modalities. Migration from TDM to IP is an ongoing reality. As the UC industry moves from on-premises to the cloud, hybrid networks abound. Mobile communication is exploding. Mobile is changing connectivity and how we communicate. These trends create the need for devices on the customer premise that enable and empower this transformation—situated between the enterprise and service provider networks. The market requires these devices incorporate network demarcation, service termination, legacy device integration, multi-WAN redundancy, cloud-connectors, eSBC functions, security for converged voice and data, as well as virtualization (SDN/NFV). Patton is doing all that in our suite of one-box solutions.”
Looking Forward to a Bright Future
Going forward, Patton expects to create more new and innovative UC and IoT-enabling solutions that satisfy customers’ requirements. They will also produce new VoIP Gateways, eSBCs and integrated access devices (IADs) that can IP-enable existing voice and data network systems and help SMBs transition to new-generation ALL-IP technology affordably and at their own pace. Patton is also dedicated to the ongoing development of Ethernet and PoE solutions that would save customers money by leveraging the existing copper plant for long-reach IP connectivity.