Titans of Tomorrow: F5 Networks

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F5 nearly collapsed during the dot-com bust when the biggest customers for its software started going bankrupt, one after the other. The company reinvented itself and now has more than 3,000 employees and over $1 billion in sales. It builds software and hardware which, when placed in a client company’s computer network, helps  data to be processed more efficiently and applications to work more effectively. Customers such as Facebook use hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of F5 equipment. The company now has a 60 percent share of the application delivery controller market. Rival Cisco acknowledged F5’s dominance when it pulled out of the market last September. F5, as the market leader, should win over a big share of those Cisco customers as they turn to new suppliers, and F5 has bolstered its sales team to make sure that happens.
The company could benefit greatly from several technology trends. “We are in the sweet spot of lots of global developments in technology, from virtualization and cloud computing to mobile,” says John McAdam, CEO.

F5 expanded into the mobile space with the acquisition early last year of Israel-based Traffix Systems, a strong player in supplying technology that helps mobile systems communicate over fourth-generation mobile networks. Consequently, F5’s software now plays a key role in helping the world’s mobile service providers better handle the growing load of data traffic passing through their systems.

But those markets are only worth a few billion dollars. What makes F5’s future really promising is its move into the $15 billion market for providing network security.  Because of F5’s deep knowledge of how its customers’ networks operate, it can add security features more efficiently and without slowing down the transfer of data. At least one city police department uses F5 software to encrypt data traffic. And many enterprises want to offer employees and customers the opportunity to tap into their corporate computer systems without compromising security.

2016 Community Impact Awards: The List

2016 Community Impact Awards: The List

Here are this year's winners and links to their profiles.
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Congratulations to the recipients of Seattle Business magazine’s 2016 Community Impact Awards!


Lifetime Achievement
Honoree: Harriet Bullitt


Pro Bono Projects
Gold Award: Kinzer Partners


Sustainability in Business Operations
Gold Award: Theo Chocolate
Silver Award: Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort


Social Entrepreneurship
Gold Award: Savers
Silver Award: Evrnu


Youth Development
Gold Award: Skanska USA


Job Creation and Workforce Development
Gold Award: Bellevue College and Year Up Puget Sound
Silver Award: Millionair Club Charity


Green Products and Services
Gold Award: Optimum Energy
Silver Award: Itek Energy
Silver Award: Rice Fergus Miller


Nonprofit of the Year
Gold Award: FareStart
Silver Award: Wellspring Family Services


Business of the Year, Small Firms 
Gold Award: Sleep Train
Silver Award: Glassybaby


Business of the Year, Large Firms (Eastern Washington)
Gold Award:
Tree Top


Business of the Year, Large Firms (Western Washington)

Gold Award: McKinstry
Silver Award: Columbia Bank