Exide Electronics Group, Inc. History
Raleigh, North Carolina 27615
Telephone: (919) 872-3020
Fax: (919) 870-3100
Sales: $459.9 million (1996)
Stock Exchanges: NASDAQ
SICs: 3629 Electrical Industrial Apparatus, Not Elsewhere Classified; 7629 Electrical Repair Shops, Not Elsewhere Classified
Exide Electronics Group, Inc. is a leading developer, manufacturer and marketer of a full range of uninterruptible power systems (UPS) whose mission is to provide power protection solutions for customers worldwide in order to create enterprise value and achieve the common goals of superior financial performance, customer satisfaction, associate satisfaction and quality, to provide solutions that exceed customers' expectations and create value and whose vision is to become "the worldwide leader in strategic power management."
Exide Electronics Group, Inc. is the world's only provider of Strategic Power Management. Billing itself as "the global force for the preservation of uptime," the company is a leading maker of a full range of uninterruptible power systems (UPS) and leads the industry with a broad spectrum of intelligent power management hardware and software solutions.
The company began more than 33 years ago with a singular focus, to meet customer needs at every application level. By maintaining that focus, the company has produced a robust annual growth rate, expanding from $192 million in revenue in 1991 to $459.9 million in 1996. The company has innovative technologies and has brought UPS protection from the power room to the computer room to the desktop with a host of major industry innovations, some of which include digital UPS, super-redundant UPS, monitoring and remote control software, seamless Novell/UNIX integration, and virtual-battery UPS. The company also offers a comprehensive range of products and services that supply an extensive variety of hardware, software, and connectivity devices for enterprise-wide power conditioning, protection, and management solutions. Some of the products it produces include the Powerware Prestige family of online UPSs to provide clean, uninterrupted power to mission-critical networks. Those products and services have been honored with numerous awards for their products and services. Powerware Prestige has won the June 1994 LAN Recommended Magazine Award, the December 1994 Computer Reseller News Editors' Choice Award, and the July 1995 Network Computing Magazine Choice Award, while Powerware Prestige EXT won the September 1994 Best Buy What PC? Award, the November 1994 LAN Recommended Magazine Award, and the March 1995 Personal Computer Magazine Reviewer's Choice Award. The company was incorporated as a Delaware corporation in 1979.
The company has traveled all over the world to maintain its customers' equipment. From aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean Sea to oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, from facilities on the nearly deserted island of Attu, Alaska, to the arid desert of Kabul, Afghanistan, the company has customers worldwide. One such has been the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which has relied on Exide's power consulting expertise to ensure mission-critical uptime for communications and radar systems at 21 Air Route Traffic Control Centers. This is one of the world's largest networks, vital to the operation of more than 82,000 flights transporting more than 1.5 million passengers throughout the U.S. each day. Another was the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in which timing systems, computers, and communications systems in 31 widespread venues were required to operate continuously. The system Exide supplied for the Olympics included 12,000 integrated power protection and management components, including UPSs ranging from 800VA to 80KVA to protect data centers and multiple networks. Other clients Exide serves include Canon, Digital Equipment Corporation, Ericsson, IBM, Seiko Instruments, and SITA.
The company's continued revenue growth has been a result of a slow but steady acquisition policy. In April 1990, the company acquired France-based Saft-Exide Electronics S.A. for approximately $440,000. November 1991 saw the company purchase London, England-based MPL Powerware Systems Ltd. Certain assets of DataTrax Systems Corporation were purchased in September 1993. Late in 1994, the company acquired two companies in Canada and one in the United Kingdom. These companies were involved in the sales and service of UPS products. In February 1995, the company completed its merger of International Power Machines Inc. (IPM), a developer, manufacturer, seller, and servicer of UPS products located in Dallas, Texas, with and into a newly formed subsidiary of the company. The acquisition included IPM's LorTec Systems Inc. subsidiary. Later that same year, in August, the company acquired Lectro Products Inc., a broadband industry leader specializing in power protection and other transmission enhancement devices for the converging cable television and communications networks, for approximately $12.4 million. Also in 1995, the company introduced new selling and marketing programs, including the realignment of the North American sales and support operation along customer groups, the launching of an integrated marketing campaign introducing the concept of SPM and the opening of an area sales office, Exide Electronics-Latin America, in Miami, Florida, to service markets in Latin America. The company was also negotiating to acquire the UPS business of Group Schneider S.A., but those negotiations fell through.
That same year, 1995, saw the company begin a strategy called Vision 2000. With the 21st century rapidly approaching, the company eagerly anticipates the new borderless world and swift advancement of internetworking technologies. Vision 2000 began in August 1995 with a meeting of a team of 40 people, representing the company's customers, suppliers, board of directors and associates, who gathered to form a blueprint for the company as it moved into the next century. Seven key strategies were defined which will guide the company's direction: customer obsession, a pervasive management system designed to enable and empower all associates at all levels with the quality process, tools, and environment to focus on continuous improvement, customer satisfaction and loyalty; continued corporate development; international expansion; increased presence in small systems; leadership in large systems and services; government business expansion and pursuit of emerging market opportunities.
In 1996, the company expanded product lines, strengthened the company's OEM partnerships, added manufacturing capabilities and developed its Emerging Technologies Group. New products in 1996 included NetUPS and Powerware Prestige UPS by Exide Electronics, PowerRite Max UPS by Deltec, and Internet UPS by Fiskars Power Systems. To accommodate the special installation requirements of contemporary computing, such as network racks and wiring closets, the company introduced new rackmount and stackable UPS. In addition to these hardware introductions, the company announced a new power management software family called Strategic Power Management (SPM), that supports the widest range of UPS in the industry.
The company believes that, in order to run a business, power must be managed. In the distributed environment of businesses in the late 20th century, with more and more corporate data residing in power-vulnerable devices, the need for one all-inclusive power management resource is critical. As the company's technology developed, Exide Electronics created a shift in thinking in the UPS industry from passive to proactive power management and stayed consistently one generation ahead of the power needs of critical electronic systems. One of its concepts is Strategic Power Management. SPM was created as a unique, enterprise-wide approach that will safeguard the integrity of electronic assets and the availability of information-on-demand. SPM ensures the availability of mission-critical information systems by mobilizing technologies, products, services, and partnerships which far exceed the conventional uninterrupted power sources (UPS).
Through its Emerging Technologies Group (ETG), the company is broadening its capabilities in specialized markets such as cable telecommunications and the information superhighway. The company also continues developing new power protection solutions for applications that never existed before. In its first full year of operations the ETG consolidated its manufacturing of communications-related power protection systems into a new facility in Raleigh, North Carolina. Working closely with leading cable companies, the ETG is also contributing to the deployment of broadband networks and, in 1996, introduced a new centralized power node for advanced cable network systems.
The company's Small Systems Group (SSG), located in Wilmington, North Carolina, is Exide Electronics' fastest-growing and most rapidly evolving business unit. In March 1996, the company acquired Deltec Power Systems Inc., one of the world's largest manufacturer's and marketers of offline and lineinteractive small UPS, from Fiskars Oy Ab and an affiliated company, for approximately $197.6 million, mostly in cash. The purchase of the San Diego, California-based Deltec brought the company several complimentary networking products and an opportunity to expand its OEM business, in addition to increasing its low-cost manufacturing capacity. With Deltec's strong OEM relationships, Exide Electronics, already a leading supplier to most of the computer industry's top manufacturers, now becomes the industry leader in meeting the needs of emerging internetworking and vertical market OEM customers. With an expansion at the Wilmington facility and the addition of Deltec S.A. de C.V., a facility located in Tijuana, Mexico, the company's capacity to manufacture SSG products nearly doubled.
The company's Large Systems Group (LSG) also grew in 1996, targeting commercial business opportunities, especially in international markets, enhancing the performance of large systems products and leveraging longstanding relationships with federal government customers. The LSG formed two new subsidiaries to address significant large and small systems market opportunities in Brazil and India, partnering with Grupo Microlite S.A. and Crompton Greaves, respectively, which adds longstanding relationships and strong regional presence. In Europe, the LSG benefited from the acquisition of Finland-based Fiskars Power Systems as part of the Deltec acquisition. The Scandinavian market share leader adds strong presence for the company in Europe and in the emerging Eastern European and Russian markets.
The company's Worldwide Services Group (WSG) is a force of over 1,100 factory-trained service representatives around the world that focuses on preventing downtime as well as correcting it. Services at the WSG are available 24 hours a day and include a full range of powertrain services as well as UPS maintenance and upgrading. This division of the company also turnkey installs systems; designs power systems from the ground up; tests, replaces, monitors and consults on battery-related problems; and performs comprehensive audits of customers' power systems. The WSG also develops sophisticated software for onsite or remote monitoring and analyzation of data on the status of UPS equipment and batteries or on the entire facility environment. Some of the products in the WSG division include Powerware UPS, OnliNet Power Management Software, LorTec UPS, LecTro UPS, OneUPS UPS, ConnectUPS Network Adapters, and PowerPass Surge Protection.
Also in 1996, the company was awarded a follow-on contract of two years with the U.S. Air Force Air Logistics Center, received the European Community Declaration of Conformity "CE Mark" on its Powerware Systems and Series 3000M and 5000M UPS products, and the company additionally became the first in the power protection industry to achieve ISO 9001 quality status from the International Standards Office. Two patents applications were also filed for new technologies that utilize special control algorithms to connect UPS in parallel, removing a potential point of failure related to connecting wires which are traditionally used for communications between parallel UPS. The new technology allows each UPS module the intelligence to govern themselves independently.
The company continues to develop new technologies as the computer industry speeds into the 21st century, forging strategic alliances with customers, suppliers, and sales partners all around the world, enabling the company to share critical knowledge to create comprehensive, efficient, and cost-effective business solutions. One of the strategic partnerships the company has formed is with Data General in order to enhance the latter's system to provide easier, more efficient ways to order, install, and help maintain Data General's reliable, single-source business solutions for its customers.
Uptime--when computer screens burn phosphor tracks through the day and night, when networks talk to each other at the speed of light, when business transactions flow back and forth. Uptime is mission-critical because, without it, business stops moving, productivity decreases, customer confidence erodes, and revenue losses climb ever higher. The quality and availability of electrical power poses one of the biggest threats to the creation of downtime. Exide Electronics has grown into a company of more than 2,500 representatives in more than 100 countries, a company which is committed to exceeding customers' expectations through experience, dedication, and teamwork, a company which is equipped with leading-edge power management technologies, products, services, and partnerships, serving clientele and a company preserving uptime from a single PC to global information networks and everything in between. Maximizing the human potential worldwide is a major component of the company's Vision 2000 strategy. Exide Electronics will continue to benchmark and implement products and services throughout the world so it can attain worldwide leadership in Strategic Power Management.
Principal Subsidiaries: Advanced Technology Center; DataTrax Systems Corporation; Deltec Electronics Corporation; Deltec S.A. de C.V. (Mexico); Exide Electronics-Crompton Greaves (India); Exide Electronics-Grupo Microlite S.A. (Brazil); Exide Electronics-Latin America; Exide Electronics Canada Inc.; Exide Electronics de Mexico; Exide Electronics International-Australia; Exide Electronics International/IPM (China); Exide Electronics International/IPM (Singapore); Exide Electronics International Corp. (U.K.); Exide Electronics International Corp. (Middle East/Africa); Exide Electronics International GmbH (Germany); Exide Electronics S.A. (France); Fiskars Power Systems (Finland); GS-EE Co. Ltd. (Japan); GS-EE Co. Ltd. (Japan); MPL Powerware Systems Ltd. (U.K.).
Principal Operating Units: Large Systems Group; Small Systems Group; Emerging Technologies Group; Worldwide Services Group.
Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 20. St. James Press, 1998.