Dissolution of Soapstone Networks

It’s all over but the shouting for Soapstone Networks, formerly Avici Systems.

The company officially filed its certificate of dissolution today, and, yes, that’s as definitive as it sounds.

Avici began life with theoretical promise as a core-router vendor, an alternative to Cisco and Juniper for carrier customers. The company never had more than a handful of customers, though, and when it lost its biggest customer (AT&T/SBC), its fate was sealed.

With the grimmest of reapers in hot pursuit, Avici reinvented itself as Soapstone Networks, a vendor of carrier Ethernet solutions that few could conceptually grasp, much less buy.

It wasn’t long before employees were being shed and Morgan Stanley was hired as an investment-banking agent to identify “strategic options.” When a buyer could not be found, the company reached the end of the road and officially filed for dissolution.

Sadly, it’s a familiar story. Soapstone, nee Avici, is not alone in the networking graveyard.


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