Approved Networks: Quality and Compatibility. An OEM Disruptor in optics!
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Approved Networks: Quality and Compatibility. An OEM Disruptor in optics!

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Kurt Dunteman, Managing Partner, Approved NetworksKurt Dunteman, Managing Partner
The science of fiber optics is built around quality, particularly in the development of optical transceivers in the networking space. Reliability is a cornerstone to any network design and nothing is more frustrating than having a mission critical port go down. OEM switch manufacturers have capitalized on fear of a downed port to get Customers to pay exorbitant amounts of money to purchase a pass-through technology they don’t design or manufacture themselves. To protect their profits, many OEMs have gone so far as requiring their special EEPROM coding for optics to work in their specific systems. Approved Networks has spent the past decade engineering a cost effective alternative solution.

“Most industry leaders are discovering they spend 70 percent more than necessary when purchasing OEM transceivers,” says Kurt Dunteman, managing partner at Approved Networks. “What differentiates our organization from these OEMs is really only the markup. We procure transceivers from the same contract manufacturers that build for OEM’s such as Cisco, Juniper, and Nokia. We then program these transceivers to be compatible within their router, switch, and server environments. We just don’t charge a premium for our name to be on the label.”

With its extensive, decades-long experience in optical networking, Approved Networks has emerged as a leader in the programming, testing, and distribution of third-party fiber optic products. Approved Networks provides enterprise-class optical transceivers, DACs (Twinax and AOC), and cabling to many of the largest enterprise clients around the globe. “Our methodology has been simple from the beginning. Focus on compatibility and all that it entails. It starts with direct relationships with tier one contract manufacturers. This took us a long time to develop. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, the major suppliers were focused on the OEM’s and we had to prove our worth.
Now, most products you purchase from us can be found on the OEM’s actual AVL. Furthermore, we have a solution based engineering team focused entirely on our customers’ needs. This enables us to offer a variety of custom solutions that are not provided by the OEM’s and is supported by our testing capabilities. We test to varying environmental conditions, to standards of performance, compliance, compatibility, and Interoperability with all the major manufacturers. Our customers depend on it and this truly differentiates us from the pack.” explains Dunteman. “We back this with a quality system which tracks each individual product by serial number; from sourcing through receiving, staging, programming, testing, labeling, and shipping.” This novel approach has time and again been proven effective in the company achieving a 99.971 percent reliability rating.

Started in 2010, as a sales and marketing arm of US Critical, Approved Networks is driven by the passion for assisting enterprise, data center, and telecom clients in reducing their network IT spend. “Our mission is to provide a quality and tested alternative to the high cost and long lead times of OEM networking hardware. Right now, there is a big stress on budget, and most CIO’s are finding that in the networking space, one of the only ways they can really see a profound savings is in how they purchase optical transceivers. 10-15 percent of their network spend is directly linked to them. Because of this, most major corporations have been open to moving away from OEM branded optics and exploring a more cost effective solution. It is our job to help them navigate the often complex issues that arise, which include working with engineering on adoption and testing while assisting supply chain management on sourcing strategies. Supply chain is often more open to this as we are OEM agnostic and become a one-stop shop for all their optical needs,” continues Dunteman.

Approved Networks’ strong collaborations with the major industry leaders serve as the driving force behind its successful track record and consistent growth. With it’s undisputed focus on quality, testing and cost-reduction, Approved Networks continues to embrace and invest in emerging technologies like the upcoming 400GB standard. Looking ahead, Approved is expanding its lab function to provide interoperability and conformance validation to some of the better known switch manufacturers. From an engineering standpoint, the company aspires to hire more talented and passionate engineers to strengthen its expertise in the optical sciences and provide effective solutions to clients.