Don't call Olicom token ring specialists. They're mission critical networking experts now, thank you very much.
To prove that the Danish networking vendor has moved beyond its token ring heritage, Olicom will launch in the first half of next year a new range of Ethernet equipment, said Claus Hansen, the company's new Australian country manager. The range will include adapters and switches that scale up to Gigabit Ethernet speeds, he said.
"Token ring customers cannot stick with being limited to 16Mbps of bandwidth. That's a fact - they have to migrate," he said.
"Olicom is going to provide the consultancy services and the products that enables customers with mission critical networks to migrate in the most cost-effective and sensible manner."
It has just hired a network consultant at its Sydney headquarters. The role of the network consultant is to sit down with token ring customers and map out appropriate migration strategies to whichever might be the most suitable and cost-effective technologies.
As an example, Hansen cited a large customer who was recently quoted $3 million to migrate to a Cisco Ethernet environment. However, Olicom was able to reach the same point for $1.5 million by recommending a step-by-step migration, which still incorporated token ring in some parts of the network.
"We have tremendous expertise in these environments. We know what customers require and we will soon be able to provide whatever they want," he said.
Hansen reiterated that even though Olicom was engaging directly with the customer, all sales would go through its channel partners.
In fact, Olicom has also just officially announced its ClearPartner channel accreditation program and is on the verge of announcing its first Gold integrator partner, Hansen said.
Olicom is looking to take on between five and 10 gold partners. Gold partners receive co-op funds for marketing, receive leads and sales generated by Olicom's sales force, and receive "kick backs" if they reach targets. To qualify, partners must invest in training and have accredited Olicom engineers.