Cabletron CEO hints at Oz acquisitions

Cabletron CEO hints at Oz acquisitions

Cabletron Systems' recently appointed president and CEO, Piyush Patel, is on the lookout for Australian acquisition targets and has fired a wake-up salvo across the bow of its local operation.

Patel told Asia-Pacific journalists on a teleconference call today the company is looking to invest in professional services, support and startup technology companies.

"In the beginning, our plan is to go after some medium-sized companies," he said.

Patel is also looking to improve the company's long-term viability by seeking better performance from Cabletron's Asia-Pacific business.

According to Patel, while Cabletron Australia achieves annual revenues of between $US20 million and $US30 million, it can still do a lot better in the face of competition from the likes of Alcatel, Nortel Networks, Cisco and Lucent.

"We definitely can do a lot better than what we are doing," he said.

Patel also hinted at the possibility of undertaking a management reshuffle throughout the region.

"We are always looking at restructuring our offices."

He explained the Asia-Pacific market remains strategically important to the company, particularly in the service provider and enterprise arenas.

The company is moving to address the challenges by pouring more resources into marketing and its channel partners.

"We have not done justice to our technology from a marketing point of view."

Patel said the company receives around 60 per cent of worldwide revenues from the channel, with the remaining 40 per cent from direct sales.

"We are in the beginning phase of this channel program," he said.

In the future, he would like to see this rise, primarily through "solutions focused" marketing in the service provider and enterprise markets.

Meanwhile, Patel said he is not preparing the company for sale and renewed his commitment to making it a financially strong stand-alone company, which he observed has $US500 million cash in the bank.

"This quarter our expectation is to break even, so to speak," he said. "I think things have already started to turn around.

"Our goal is to grow at 30 to 40 per cent per year."

Patel said Cabletron is worth $1.4 billion and said he would be "happy" if it grew to hit the $2 billion mark over the next few years.

Meanwhile, he said the company's future R&D efforts will focus on Terabit routers, edge routers, network management and integrated voice and data products.

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