Next month's NetWorld+ Interop 99 Atlanta promises to be Spectrum's debutante ball, as the Cabletron business unit comes out from under its parent company with a new direction for its network management software and a new image.
Spectrum is currently working to develop management software with network hardware vendors such as Cisco and Nortel Networks, as part of an effort to bolster the Spectrum management platform's handling of non-Cabletron hardware. The business unit is developing software for managing policies, virtual LANs and traffic reporting across different vendors' hardware. In addition, some Spectrum functions will also be adapted to work with other network management platforms.
Spectrum has hired a "brand development" firm to come up with a new look and a new name by Interop. While it is likely to keep the Spectrum name for its products, the organisation will probably be renamed to distance it from Cabletron.
Spectrum's image problem stems from the fact that it is not widely used, said Valerie O'Connell, director of enterprise management at Aberdeen Group in Boston. "It's no different an image problem than a vampire has when it looks in the mirror."
O'Connell's observations are backed up by research from Dataquest that shows Spectrum had sales of $US64 million in 1998 - compared to market leaders Tivoli and Hewlett-Packard, which had sales of $US201 million and $209 million respectively.