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Petaluma telecom firm Cyan eyes big expansion

  • Software engineers Bonnie Varghese, left, and Prabhu Sivakumar work at Cyan, Inc., in Petaluma, on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. Varghese, who is from India, has an H-1B visa, which is a non-immigrant visa that allows business professionals with a specialized skill to work in the country for a specific amount of time. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

A fast-growing Petaluma telecom equipment company is sinking its roots deeper into Sonoma County with an expansion that could add new high-paying jobs to the economy.

Cyan, which currently occupies two floors of a building in the Redwood Business Center at Old Redwood Highway near Highway 101, is planning to expand into a second building in the same complex.

The company, founded in Petaluma in 2006 by four Telecom Valley pioneers, employs nearly 300 people in all, about two-thirds of them in Sonoma County. Most jobs, including engineering, finance and marketing positions, pay in the six figures.

The new building, at 1385 N. McDowell Blvd., is in the planning stages, according to property owners Basin Street Properties.

The 57,000-square-foot building is envisioned as three stories tall, with Cyan likely occupying the top two floors. The company has signed a long-term lease with Basin Street for the space.

Joe Cumello, chief marketing officer at Cyan, said the company is fast outgrowing its current headquarters.

"We're packed in like sardines now. We've made really good use of the space we're in, but we're jammed in there," he said.

The company, which went public in May and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is valued at about $460 million. It develops and sells software and equipment that help telephone companies, data centers and private network operators reduce the cost of moving data quickly across their networks.

The company had sales of $96 million in 2012, an increase from $40.5 million from 2011. It reached a milestone of 150 customers recently, Cumello said, for Blue Planet, its software-defined networking product.

Initial drawings for the new building show a pedestrian bridge between the third floors of the two adjacent buildings, creating a literal and figurative connection between the two Cyan spaces.

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