Chief Technology Officer, Ensemble - A Division of ADVA Optical Networking

January 2016 - Present

I am ADVA’s chief technology officer for Ensemble and an evangelist for network functions virtualization (NFV). I speak at industry events and writes posts and articles to inform, educate and entertain, mostly about network virtualization with plenty of innovation for good measure. I also publish "The Real CTOs of NFV" series, reporting on the experiences of my peers who are innovating in the carrier-class service industry.


Some Recent ADVA Awards:

- January 20, 2017: ADVA Optical Networking’s Ensemble Connector Wins TMC’s NFV Product of the Year Award

​- November 8, 2016: ADVA Ensemble Wins MEF Excellence Award for Ensemble Connector

- May 25, 2016: ADVA and DartPoints win GTB Award

- May 23, 2016: ADVA Optical Networking Wins Light Reading’s Company of the Year (Public) Award

- May 11, 2016: ADVA Ensemble Connector Wins NFV Innovation of the Year Award at 5G World MENA

- May 9, 2016: ADVA wins Pipeline Innovation award for Network Technology



Chief Technology OfficeR and Co-Founder

September 2000 - January 2016
I am charged with helping Overture anticipate and lead through major industry transitions and market shifts while conveying Overture’s message to its customers and the larger industry. Most recently, I guided Overture’s own transition from a telecom hardware powerhouse to an innovation leader in orchestration solutions for software-defined carrier-class networks. I am an evangelist for network functions virtualization (NFV), helping communication service providers (CSPs) and mobile operators create virtual environments optimized for agility and profit. I speak often at industry events, post to my blog praysons-prate.blogspot.com and share NFV information, ideas and guidance through bylined articles published by industry media.   I participate regularly in standards bodies such as the MEF and IETF, and was chosen to be the co-editor of the pseudowire emulation edge-to-edge (PWE3) requirements and architecture documents (RFCs 3916 and 3985). 


Some Overture Awards:

- Nov 16, 2015: Overture wins MEF Excellence Award - Third Network Technology of the Year – CE 2.0

- Jun 2, 2015: Overture wins Runner-up in Pipeline Innovation Awards

- May 14, 2015: Overture and Masergy Win Global Telecoms Business 2015 Innovation Award

- Apr 2, 2015: Overture Ensemble Service Intelligence Honored With 2015 INTERNET TELEPHONY NFV Pioneer Award

- Mar 3, 2015: Overture Ensemble Service Intelligence wins NIA Award for Network Intelligence

- Aug 6, 2014: Overture Ensemble OSA™ Receives 2014 NFV Pioneer Award

- Feb 19, 2014: Overture 6500 Receives Internet Telephony 2014 Product of the Year Award

- Oct 22, 2013: Overture Ensemble OSA™ Receives 2013 Excellence in SDN Award

- Sep 18, 2013: Overture Honored as Stevie® Award Winner in 2013 American Business Awards

- Jan 30, 2013: Overture First to Receive MEF Carrier Ethernet 2.0

Nov 16, 2012: Fast 50: #1 Overture Networks

- Sep 18, 2012: Overture Honored with TMC INTERNET TELEPHONY Excellence Award for Optical Ethernet Mobile Backhaul

- Jun 20, 2012: Overture's Ethernet Smart Demarcation Solution Recognized for Innovation

- Oct 18, 2011: TBJ Unveils Fast 50 Award Winners

- May 24, 2011: Overture's ISG 6000 Receives 2011 NGN Leadership Award from TMC's NGN Magazine





Engineer / Manager / Director - Larscom - RTP, NC

December 1992 – August 2000
Responsible  for development of software for telecom products deployed at tier 1 service providers.  Also involved in development of MFR standards at the  Frame Relay Forum.




Member of Scientific Staff - BNR (Nortel) - RTP, NC

June 1988 – December 1992

Developed hardware and embedded software for Nortel telecommunications peripherals.




Intern / Development Engineer - Siecor FiberLAN / FiberLAN, Inc. - RTP, NC

June 1983  – August 1986

Developed fiber optic Ethernet and Token Ring products.