Revived Spectralink seeks home in Boulder

WESTMINSTER – Spectralink Corp. is planning to celebrate its newfound life and independence with a return to Boulder and a major new product launch, the company announced Thursday.

Spectralink is a developer of on-site enterprise-level mobile communications technologies, including Wi-Fi handsets and infrastructure for secure networks. Until December, it was owned by Polycom Inc., the San Jose, California-based company that makes equipment for voice and video conference calls. Polycom (Nasdaq: PLCM) bought Spectralink in 2007, 17 years after Spectralink was founded in Boulder.

Spectralink was a Boulder-born success story that became the leader in “workplace Wi-Fi telephony,” according to media coverage when the deal was announced. Polycom paid $220 million in cash to acquire it.

In December, Polycom sold Spectralink and a related division to an affiliate of private equity firm Sun Capital Partners for $110 million. The new owner is giving Spectralink the support needed to become its own company again.

Spectralink was moved to Westminster, where Polycom had an office. The address is 1765 W. 121st Ave.

Now it is looking for a large space in Boulder from where about 100 of its 225 employees will be based, marketing director Michelle Chessler said. The company is in the process of finding a space and negotiating a lease, and its goal is to open in Boulder in April.

The new facility will be home to Spectralink’s corporate and sales operations and also serve as a research and development center, vice president of marketing Mike Lanciloti said. The company’s European HQ will remain in Denmark, and many employees such as its sales force will be working remotely.

The new Spectralink wants to make a big splash, and new products and marketing campaigns are planned for the next few months, Lanciloti said.

Among other devices, Spectralink makes wireless handsets used by businesses to communicate within a corporate campus or large facility, such as a hospital or manufacturing plant, Lanciloti said. Nurses at hospitals are examples of Spectralink users; they are always moving and do not have desk lines – or even desks – but need to be in close contact with each other.

The handsets are used like walkie-talkies but are based on different technology that’s newer and better, Lanciloti said. Spectralink devices communicate over secure networks and allow for point-to-point communication between users, unlike walkie-talkies, which broadcast over frequencies that often are not secured, he said.

Physically, they are more comparable to mobile phones.

“They look and feel like cellphones, but they don’t use the cellphone network,” Lanciloti said.

The split from Polycom and move to Boulder are part of a near-complete corporate relaunch for Spectralink, which hopes to build on the identity and reputation it created before becoming part of Polycom.

“We are thrilled to have completed the divestiture from Polycom and now focus on reinventing Spectralink for today’s markets.  We have a strong heritage, reputation and partnerships that we will certainly leverage, but also a strong commitment to a new way of looking at our business, markets and the solutions we develop,” chief executive Sten Dyrmose said in a press release.

Boulder was and remains a major influence on Spectralink’s “culture and core,” Lanciloti said. Many employees commute from Boulder and are eager for the move.

“To be honest, people would prefer to work in Boulder,” he said.

That includes Spectralink veterans. Its founders no longer are involved with the company, but many of the people who helped build Spectralink in the early 1990s remain.

“Many of the core group of employees hired shortly after Spectralink was founded are still with us, thankfully,” Lanciloti said.

Restoring Specralink’s corporate independence and getting a new home are going to be big boosts for company morale and sense of identity, Chessler said.

“We really want to walk into our own place,” she said, “a place that is for Spectralink.”

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