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Hifn Hops In

5:20 PM -- As demand for data reduction (compression and/or de-duplication) heats up, a formerly quiet supplier has flown into view. With the announcement this week of an OEM deal with Sepaton, Hifn Inc. has positioned itself as a force to be reckoned with in the emerging compression market. (See Sepaton, Hifn Partner.)

Hifn's no newcomer. For over a decade, it's specialized in processors, accelerator boards, compression cards, and encryption for network and storage OEMs. (See Compression Makes an Impression, FLAG Celebrates Falcon Launch , and Hifn Intros Security Board.)

The latest deal comes on the heels of a similar arrangement with FalconStor, unveiled in April. Hifn also counts Cisco as its key OEM customer.

Why is Hifn showing up now, more than ever? It may be that the company's strategy, adopted in November 2006, is working. At that time, management decided to restructure. "In November we renewed the focus of our entire organization on significantly improving our execution and our operating performance," said CEO and chairman Albert E. Sisto in a statement prepared for the Q2 report April 19.

Clearly, part of the focus is on storage, where Hifn's wares are finding growing demand. Still, there's plenty of room for improvement. Hifn's revenues for the six months ended March 31, 2007, were $20.3 million, down 9 percent from the same period in 2006. Net loss for the six months ended March 31, 2007, on a GAAP basis, was $3.4 million, or $0.24 per share.

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