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Company Profile of Open Interface
Company Profile of Open Interface - May 12th, 2011
Originally a manufacturer and distributor of carpet tile, Interface, Inc., has developed into an international presence in the commercial and institutional interiors industry. Carpet tiles, uniform floor covering modules that are easier to maintain and replace than broadloom carpet, continue to underlie Interface's business, proving popular in office design because of their flexibility in redecoration and easy removal and replacement for rewiring and other repair work. These modular carpet systems--marketed under the brand names Interface Flooring Systems and Bentley in the United States, and Heuga in Europe&mdashe used primarily in commercial and institutional settings. Interface is also the leading producer of interior fabrics for open plan office furniture systems in the United States. The fabrics for these systems, which are usually enclosed, customized work stations, are produced by the company's Guilford of Maine, Inc., subsidiary. Interface is also involved in specialty chemical production. The company's most important chemical is Intersept, an antimicrobial chemical agent used in some carpet manufacturing. Intersept is produced by another subsidiary, Rockland React-Rite, Inc. Foreign sales account for about one-third of Interface's revenue, and the company has 25 production and distribution facilities worldwide, as well as sales and marketing outposts in 110 different countries. Interface currently controls about 40 percent of the international carpet tile market.
Open Interface North America OINA) is a privately owned embedded Bluetooth software provider based in Seattle, Washington and was founded in 2000 by Akemi Sagawa. Controlling interest was acquired by Dashlight Systems, LLC, on May 17, 2004. Tom Nault, managing member of Dashlight Systems, LLC became Chairman of the Board of OINA at that same time and CEO on April 1, 2006. The company is known for highly efficient, scalable, portable and quality audio software. OINA provides to application developers, silicon vendors, and system integrators.
Open Interface's Bluetooth software has been incorporated into a number of popular consumer electronic devices including Apple's iPhone  and Qualcomm-powered devices such as the Motorola RAZR.
Open Interface was acquired by Qualcomm in late 2007 with a price tag of $22 million .
Industry firsts include
The demonstration of Bluetooth and UWB combined functionality
HDTV streaming using Bluetooth and UWB
Bluetooth based combination of WiFi and UWB
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR qualification of upper protocol stack by an independent company
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR stereo headphone
Bluetooth on a 3G phone
Bluetooth ported to embedded Linux
Bluetooth on a notebook computer as a standard feature
Commercially available Bluetooth watch
Bluetooth 2.0+EDR multicast headphone solution
In the mid-1990s, Interface's chairman and CEO Ray C. Anderson emerged as an outspoken advocate of sustainability, a concept that included environmental and social responsibility. Under the influence of Anderson's crusading efforts on behalf of sustainability, the company shifted strategy, aiming to redirect its industrial practices without sacrificing its business goals. Anderson, who served as co-chair of the President's Council on Sustainable Development, wrote a book entitled Mid-Course Correction, in which he discussed his own awakening to environmental concerns and commitment to changing a business not traditionally allied with the environmentalists. Anderson was called the "Eco CEO" by Metropolis magazine.
In 1996, Charlie Eitel was named president and chief operating officer of Interface. This allowed Anderson, who remained chairman and CEO, to pursue the ecological issues that had become so important to him. Under Eitel, the company began leveraging its market share with a sales approach he called "mass customization," which facilitated rapid delivery of a wide variety of patterns, in colors selected by the customers. The owned and aligned providers of carpet and installation and other services became known collectively as the Re:Source Solutions Provider Network, and Interface began bundling installation, maintenance, reclamation, and other services with carpet sales, promoting this strategy with the slogan "This Carpet Comes Installed." Carpet adhesives and other chemical applications began to be sold under the IMAGE brand name. Intercell became part of Interface Architectural Resources, a larger effort to integrate wiring and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning under the comprehensive facility solutions that Interface offered. Under Eitel, Interface branched out into a seemingly unrelated activity: motivational seminars. These sessions originated as "Why?" conferences for promoting social bonds with designers and other customers, and the positive response to these conferences led to the formation of "one world learning," a wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to fostering organizational development through activities and discussion.
In an attempt to penetrate the health care and education markets, which generally rejected carpet in favor of hard surface floorcovering, Interface introduced Solenium in 1999. Made from PTT (polytrimethylene terepthalate), a polymer developed by Shell Labs, Solenium was a dense, lightweight material that, according to the company, combined the design, comfort, sound absorption of carpet with the practicality of hard flooring. Solenium incorporated Intersept, the company's patented antimicrobial preservative.
In its quarter-century of activity, Interface had grown into a billion dollar corporation, named by Fortune as one of the "Most Admired Companies in America" and the "100 Best Companies to Work For." With the exception of the recession year of 1991, the company was able to increase its sales every year since its founding. In the first decade of the new century, Interface would likely be able to continue this pattern of expansion, primarily by introducing its products to a wider range of commercial customers in Asia and continental Europe. In addition, Interface's specialty chemical operations seemed poised for continued growth, as public attention to occupational health increased, and the potential hazards of higher technology in the office environment, came under closer scrutiny.
Principal Subsidiaries: Interface Flooring Systems, Inc.; Interface Europe, Inc.; Interface Asia-Pacific, Inc.; Guilford of Maine, Inc.; Rockland React-Rite, Inc.; Interface Research Corporation.
Incorporated: 1973 as Carpets International of Georgia, Inc. Employees: 7,300
Sales: $1.28 billion (1998)
Stock Exchanges: NASDAQ
Ticker Symbol: IFSIA
NAIC: 31411 Carpet & Rug Mills; 31321 Broadwoven Fabric Mills; 325131 Inorganic Dye & Pigment Manufacturing
2859 Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30330
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