Lucent buys Xedia to boost VPN routing

Lucent buys Xedia to boost VPN routing

Lucent Technologies last week reaffirmed its strategy of buying enterprise product companies only in the fastest-growing markets by purchasing Xedia Corp, maker of the AccessPoint line of IP virtual private network routers.

The acquisition gives Lucent a new type of box that is expected to be deployed on customer premises, but is usually sold through ISPs or other service providers. The Xedia boxes have been employed by UUNET, PSINet, Concentric Network and other ISPs to build VPN offerings.

Xedia's AccessPoint employs class-based queuing, as well as support for the emerging Differentiated Services standard, to provide traffic prioritisation in IP VPNs and add built-in firewall and other security measures.

Lucent will continue to make AccessPoint sales through value-added resellers and other channels. But Lucent officials made it clear that they were especially excited about Xedia's relationships with top service providers.

"A key part of our enterprise strategy is to give carriers better tools with which to serve enterprise customers," says Menachem Abraham, president of Lucent's Enterprise Systems Group. In addition, following its recent acquisition of Ascend, Lucent also has sales channels for Ascend's popular Pipeline access-concentration devices through which to offer the higher-end Xedia line.

The acquisition continues Lucent's tilt away from buying basic router capability for WAN architectures, such as frame relay, in favour of smaller but faster-growing markets. Abraham says future development work on the Xedia line will include making it multiservice-, including voice-, capable. The all-stock acquisition, valued at about $246 million, is expected to close by year-end.

Founded in 1993, Xedia employs about 90 people. Ashley Stephenson, chairman of Xedia, will become vice president and chief technology officer of the WAN division of Lucent's Enterprise Systems Group.

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