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RealTime IT News

E-Mailbag Monday: Avici Systems, Mediaplex, Peer-to-Peer Networks

What looks good for the IPO market this week?

Reply: Actually, this week looks very strong. Perhaps the most notable will be Avici Systems. Apparently, the company has the next-generation router. And there is serious backing, such as from Nortel.

Currently, the company has no revenues, as the product is in trials. However, Enron Broadband and Williams Communications have committed $45 million in orders.

Of course, the fiber optic market has been red hot. Some of the recent moonshot IPOs include New Focus , ONI Systems and Sycamore Networks .

The lead underwriter is Morgan Stanley and the price range is $18-$20. The proposed ticker symbol is AVCI.

Mediaplex: Still Solid

What's your take on Mediaplex?

Reply: I've written about the company several times. Unfortunately, like many other companies last week, Mediaplex got pulverized when it announced its earnings report. Well, I think it is a buying opportunity.

In the past quarter, the company showed incredible growth in revenues, to $18.6 million, which was a 227% increase from the same period a year ago. A big part of the growth has been the result of entering strategic alliances with major advertising agencies, such as Interpublic's McCann-Erickson/A&L and DraftWorldwide, Young & Rubicam, Tonic 360 and Lot21.

The company has also continued to innovate its technology solutions, with its eBusiness Messaging and Multiple Messaging. This allows advertisers to dynamically change variables within advertisements, based on sales performance or inventory levels.

Peer-to-Peer Networks: Without Peer

What is a peer-to-peer network?

Reply: This has been popularized by the staggering success of Napster. Peer-to-peer (P2P) technology does not use a browser; rather, it is a separate application. With it, users can share files with anyone else on the Web. With Napster, users have been swapping music files - to the dismay of the recording industry.

Although, P2P has been taking many mutations. One interesting use is from TogetherWeb. The company is using the P2P protocol to not only share files, but to allow users to collaborate, synchronize and communicate on user hard drives as they would on a Web site.