The Story of Our Company's Evolution

From time to time, folks ask us, “How long has Graphical Networks been in business?” or “How many customers do you have” and “Can I see a product roadmap?” as well as “How did Graphical Networks get started?”

These are all great questions — and, if you are evaluating a DCIM, automated network documentation, or outside plant software vendor — these are questions you really should be asking so that you can better understand what you’re buying (as, afterall, you’re not just buying the software but you’re buying into the company that supports it and continues to update it).

Here at GN, we often say we ‘breathe IT documentation’…afterall, we have decades of experience in it.

But…how exactly did we get started?

Let’s take a quick journey into the past: 2004, to be exact. At this time, I started working for a company, based right down the street where the Graphical Networks office is today — in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I worked for a company called netViz.

netViz was a desktop application that was used primarily to document networks. Customers were using netViz to document networks, data center rooms, Enterprise Architecture, and DoDAF diagrams.

It was a great tool at that time. It was so great, in fact, that Concord Communications bought netViz in 2003 — and three of the founding members at Graphical Networks were at netViz prior to the acquisition. It was the intent to develop an adapter to show data from their legacy network system application, eHealth and later Spectrum (Concord acquired Aprisma Technologies), in which we sold Adapters to many customers.

People were using netViz to document data center racks and cabling, well before the DCIM phrase was coined! Concord Communications went on to become CA Technologies.

Much to our dismay, and to the dismay of netViz users across the globe, CA decided to let netViz go and sunset the product…and, just like that, Graphical Networks was born!

We started in November 2007, as there was a void left when netViz was going to be end-of-life (officially end-of-life on June 30, 2012) — and we were intent on filling it. Of course, it took us some time to get netTerrain (it was formerly called myGIS) up and running and released our first software in 2009.

So, when did Graphical Networks start? Technically it was 2007, but we say 2009, as that was when we first released our software.

Why do people ask for a roadmap? Several good reasons: to make sure the company is developing new features and releases, meaning that the software will be developed for years to come, and see the direction that the company is heading towards. If you look back at our roadmap, rack and cable management was the first solution and looking back at our roadmap, you can see how that initial focus still defines the products we have today.

With so many of today’s organizations looking for more network topology diagramming and network discovery, this led to what was first released as graphTerrain ((our netViz alternative solution – to migrate customers from netViz to netTerrain). To help alleviate our Engineering team, it was decided to combine both products into one unifying platform — netTerrain — and with it came our current product names: netTerrain DCIM and netTerrain Logical.

The need for network discovery and connecting to third party applications, led to the creation of our Integration toolkit and Collector. As you may have seen from the many articles we have written, we believe that automating the discovery and the diagrams solves the solution of having updated diagrams, instead of using spreadsheets and Visio diagrams.

As cable management is something that we take great pride in doing, it was natural to develop netTerrain Outside Plant (OSP), as documenting fiber conduits, cables, strands, not only impacts inside the buildings, but also outside the buildings too.

So… if you hear our competitors say that we are not a DCIM software solution, or that we just focus on OSP , that is just not the case — at all. Our focus is IT documentation: it’s in our bones, and we have been crafting great solutions for decades.

From two customers to now over 300 organizations using netTerrain today, Graphical Networks is experiencing a truly great growth record and the future is so bright, we have to wear sunglasses!

Have some questions? Want to see netTerrain in action? If you want to meet us in person or give us a call, our doors are always open (get a demo here or call at +1-240-912-6223). If you’re attending this year’s BICSI Fall Show in Las Vegas on Sept 30 – Oct 2, 2019, we’ll be there so drop in and say hello!

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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