Allied Telesis Labs (ATL) New Zealand is the largest research and development facility of the global Allied Telesis Group, one of the world’s leading producers of computer networking equipment. It develops dynamic, leading-edge networking solutions and capabilities for the global marketplace.
From its Christchurch base, the team creates a broad suite of networking and telecommunications products, providing solutions for a wide range of customers.
More than one million customers worldwide have chosen Allied Telesis technology for their networks –from individuals connecting home offices to the World Wide Web, to larger enterprises connecting thousands of users.
ATL exports 99 percent of its production around the world – mainly to Japan, Europe, the USA and Southeast Asia.
It supplies the following industry sectors:
- enterprise data networking (routing and switching)
- video surveillance networking
- Metropolitan area networking
ATL New Zealand grew out of Network Dynamics, a company founded in Christchurch in 1992 to market router products developed by the former Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.
The business was acquired by Allied Telesis in 1998.
Allied Telesis was founded in 1987 by Takayoshi Oshima, whose objective was to design and manufacture networking products that were efficient, reliable, based on industry standards, yet remained flexible and affordable.
The continued focus on these principles has seen the company grow both in size and reputation, and Allied Telesis now has offices all over the world.
The company employs over 2200 people in over 60 countries. The Christchurch operation employs 130.
Research and development
The bulk of the company’s research and development work is in developing the networking operating system that is embedded in the switches and routers.
The operating system is built on embedded Linux, and integrates a set of open source components, components bought from third parties, and components developed by Allied Telesis.
All design, coding, building and testing of the software is performed in-house. The range of skills involved includes data networking, software development, testing and technical writing.
Some hardware development is performed in the New Zealand development centre.
Roles within the company and company culture
The main functional groups within the company are:
- software development
- system testing
- hardware sustaining
- customer support
- project management
- product management
- marketing and communications
- administration and information and technology
By far the majority of employees are engineers of one sort or another – software architects, software developers, system test engineers, network engineers and hardware development engineers.
The company culture is engineering-focused, with a flat management structure and a strong emphasis on teamwork.