Interview with: Robert Eisses, President and CEO - featuring: their patented ExtremeUSB(R) technology that extends the range of USB in wired environments and enables wireless USB over any RF technology.

Icron Technologies Corporation (IT-TSXV)

wpe3.jpg (15694 bytes)


-Members Login

Become A Member!

This is a printer friendly page!

Icron Technologies’ is in a growing marketplace with people looking for more and more ways to transparently connect their USB devices beyond the desktoptm

USB Solutions

Icron Technologies Corporation

4664 Lougheed Highway, Suite 221
Burnaby, BC V5C 5T5
Phone: 604-638-3920

Robert Eisses
President and CEO

Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – June 22, 2007

Robert Eisses, President and Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Eisses has more than twenty years of experience as an entrepreneur and key member of senior management teams of companies focused on emerging wireless data applications. At Icron he transitioned to CEO in September 2006 from the role of Vice President Sales and Marketing, which he held since June of 2004 and during which time revenues grew over 45% annually.

Robert’s background includes a B.Comm in Finance from University of Manitoba and has held various Senior Sales and/or Business Development roles at Xerox Canada, Infosat Telecommunications (a BCE company), Pocket IT, Motivus and Norsat International.

Robert currently resides in Vancouver BC with his wife and 2 children.

Company Profile:
Icron Technologies Corporation's patented ExtremeUSB(R) technology extends the range of USB in wired environments and enables wireless USB over any RF technology. ExtremeUSB is the only USB-IF compliant extension solution and is deployed globally in a wide range of applications including: industrial automation, medical device, aerospace, KVM and computer networking. ExtremeUSB technology is available in a variety of formats including technology licenses, OEM modules, developer kits, as well as branded and private-label products.

Icron is a publicly traded corporation and trades under the symbol "IT" on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Mr. Eisses, you became CEO this past September, what is your vision and how has that developed?
Mr. Eisses: “The vision for the company is to continue and refocus our core competency, which is our ExtremeUSB® technology. What ExtremeUSB® allows you to do is take USB connections beyond the desktop, over long distances, fiber optics and enables a true wireless USB solution. We are implementing our technology into a variety of formats and products and delivering those to the market effectively through our own market, distribution channels, value-added resellers and OEM agreements.”

CEOCFO: Why do we need this USB technology?
Mr. Eisses: “Basically as USB has developed, it moved from a standard connection where you connect your mouse and your keyboard to your desktop computer or your notebook, to a technology that is really used as the defacto standard for connecting any device to your PC, whether that is a webcam, printer, scanner, hard-drive or whatever the case may be. In the past it was limited to a five meter distance from a PC and what our technology does is allow you to extend that distance well beyond 5 m/16 ft to over 2 km/1.24 mi, over fiber optics or at any distance wirelessly. We allow you to expand the use of the USB devices by removing them off your desktop and using them in more unique situations such as industrial, medical, commercial and consumer type applications.”

CEOCFO: What are you actually creating and who is using them?
Mr. Eisses: “Currently, our primary focus in our traditional marketplace has been in wired USB extensions, so USB extension over CAT5 cable or fiber optic. We have primarily focused on the commercial marketplace and industrial marketplace where our products are used in anything from remote desktop applications where you might have a central computing processing facility and you have remote desktops spread out for telemarketing operations, trading floors for a bank or brokerage institution. We use it in applications such as medical and medical imaging systems where you have a treatment room that you have a USB device and that is connected to a processor in a back room somewhere, so again you need some distance to facilitate that. We use it in industrial manufacturing facilities for remote terminals and devices on a manufacturing floor. It would include a lot of applications where distance is well beyond the five meter limit of traditional USB.”

CEOCFO: Do you just provide the device?
Mr. Eisses: “Our solution replaces the existing cable that is connected between your device, and your PC. That normal cable that you have is now replaced by our solution, which allows you to extend it over those distances or over wireless radio. You do not have to change anything on your PC or on your device. It is totally transparent, plug-and-play. It replaces that cable and allows you to use the USB device well beyond the desktop.”

CEOCFO: How do you sell your product?
Mr. Eisses: “We sell our product in a number of ways. First of all, we build everything from fully-packaged products, labeled as Icron solutions. We sell those through value-added resellers on a global basis. Secondly, we take our product and market it through specialized retailers that want to brand it themselves, so we do a white label program, whereby someone has taken our technology, put their brand label on it and then sold it through their channel. We also sell modules or design licenses that allow people to embed it even further into their technologies and solutions. Each of the versions that we sell is sold into different markets. The nice thing about USB is it is pretty ubiquitous out there so every industry effectively uses USB. Anyone that uses a computer and a device basically uses USB, so you can see our market is broad. We have traditionally had good success in the markets for enterprise computing space, the medical imaging space, the security market space with biometrics or other USB devices. We are now starting to enter into more of the consumer space as we are extending the connection between the PC and a TV seamlessly and transparently so you can have a full PC experience as you sit in front of your TV. This is a new market area that we are expanding into, and holds great promise.”

CEOCFO: Is your product unique?
Mr. Eisses: “Our product is unique in that we are the only company that provides a transparent USB experience over all the different media. We have patents on our technology that are in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and so on. Our Patents cover the concept of extending or enhancing USB over long distances or wirelessly and doing it transparently while supporting all the USB modes and transfer types that exist in USB. The key thing about our technology is the plug-n-play aspect of it, which supports our goal of ease-of-use of the product in whatever format we deliver our technology to the customers. Secondly, the performance that it provides in terms of meeting all of the USB specifications is very important from a customer and partner perspective. It is simply, very easy for customers to manageable and implement.”

CEOCFO: Do you sell them one sale of a device or is it something on going in the process?
Mr. Eisses: “The implementation for a particular application usually requires one product per device connected. However it is like buying a cable, you buy one cable and there is no on-going licensing for it, so it is a hardware sale per se.”

CEOCFO: Is the industry looking for your USB solution?
Mr. Eisses: “USB connectivity is being used more in more applications all the time, so people are looking for more ways to connect their USB devices beyond that 5-meter traditional USB limit. Our market is growing in all sectors because people and companies are looking for new solutions especially for a wired USB extension. In the wireless market, there is actually a significant demand for going wireless beyond the “oh it’s kind of neat or niche application,” there is actually a marketplace that has been identified as a sub-sector of the USB market that is expected to be 10% of that market by 2010. The USB market in general is expected to be at 2.8 billion devices being shipped by 2010, and if you count 10% of that is 280 million devices that are wireless USB enabled, it is a significant number. This is the first year that any wireless USB device has been shipped. We are really at the infancy of the whole wireless USB market and that represents a very large opportunity for Icron to work in because of how we are implementing our wireless USB solution and how transparent and seamless and point-of-play it is. The feedback we are getting is very strong toward market support for the product.”

CEOCFO: How is business?
Mr. Eisses: “Business is great! Traditionally our business over the last twelve quarters has been quarter-over-quarter growth every quarter. Year-over-year growth the last three years has been about 35-45% and that trend is continuing on our core business. We just launched our wireless product this quarter and we are starting to see revenues happen this quarter which should give us another bump in terms of growth for this year and ongoing.”

CEOCFO: What is the financial picture for you?
Mr. Eisses: “We just released our last-year annual numbers a few weeks ago. Last year we did $6.3 million in revenue. We were effectively profitable last year outside of a one-time restructuring charge, which was the change-of-CEO positions, which included a payout to the last CEO, or otherwise we would have been profitable. For the past two quarters, we have been profitable, and for this year, we are trending to maintain that profitability and grow the business as we move forward. We are also sitting on about $4.5 million in cash that we did from a raise in 2005, which we are using for internal development of our own ASIC. This is focused on a cost reduction of our technology that can get us into bigger markets as well. We won’t need to dip too deeply into that pool so we are very well funded for the next phase of growth.”

CEOCFO: Global vision, global opportunity, what is ahead?
Mr. Eisses: “Our current market is we sell about 75% of our product in the United States and another 25% in Europe and another 10% to the rest of the world. What we are seeing is that the rest of the world is going to pick up as we have just started to enter the Chinese and other Asian markets in a bigger way. We see that as a huge growth opportunity for the company. We just participated in a show in Hong Kong and we just set up some new distributor partners in Asia. We are moving some manufacturing to Asia to take advantage of some of the cost reductions that we can have there. We are looking for global expansion to facilitate our overall growth and picking up some of the new emerging markets as great opportunities.”

CEOCFO: Why should investors be interested and what might they miss about the company that they should realize?
Mr. Eisses: “Investors should be interested because we represent a solid technology that has been developed over the years that is ruggedized, hardened and used with very many mission critical type applications in industry. However, the previous limitation of it has really been the cost of its implementation. This year with our new ASIC development, we are cost reducing dramatically, so that we can focus on some of these bigger markets effectively. We are transitioning from a tried and true proven industrial commercial technology, into a mass consumer technology platform. We are taking an existing solution and broadening the market for it. We see some good blue sky opportunity for growth in the coming years. As well, we have a solid core business that keeps generating good cash flow for us.”

CEOCFO: In closing, what should people remember most about Icron?
Mr. Eisses: “What Icron does is take USB connections and takes them beyond the desktop cost effectively in many markets. This provides Icron with huge opportunities as the overall USB market continues to grow and be the defacto standard for device to PC connectivity.”


Any reproduction or further distribution of this article without the express written consent of is prohibited.

“The vision for the company is to continue and refocus our core competency, which is our ExtremeUSB® technology. What ExtremeUSB® allows you to do is take USB connections beyond the desktop, over long distances, fiber optics and enables a true wireless USB solution. We are implementing our technology into a variety of formats and products and delivering those to the market effectively through our own market, distribution channels, value-added resellers and OEM agreements.” - Robert Eisses does not purchase or make
recommendation on stocks based on the interviews published.