Cabletron has put its money where its mouth is, with what is essentially a $US100 million bet on the channel.
Cabletron executives for some time now have waxed lyrical about the company's ambition to grow the channel side of its business. In Australia Cabletron's managing director Ian Fewtrell told ARN earlier this year that attracting resellers was key to the company's success in Australia.
However, a glaring hole in the company's product line-up at the low end has limited its ability to attract a broad range of partners.
With last week's acquisition of LAN switching vendor NetVantage, combined with it's recent buy of FlowPoint, Cabletron is now in a position to take on 3Com, Cisco and Bay at the low-end of the market.
"It lets us address the commodity needs of customers rather than just providing high-end enterprise solutions," said David Gabo, Cabletron's channel manager.
This would allow Cabletron to broaden its base of resellers by attracting second tier partners, he said.
In the US, the buy means even more as it will give Cabletron access to the NetVantage channel.
NetVantage sells 10/100Mbps autoswitching switches that provide dedicated desktop access to LANs. The switches can link workgroups into LAN backbones including Gigabit Ethernet backbones. They include virtual LAN capabilities as well as support for the IEEE 802.1p and 802.1q standards for priority queuing.
Stan Alunni, a US analyst at Sterling Research said : "This gives them a nice low-end product line that fits in perfectly with what they have. It scales the recently acquired Digital product line down a little more."
"They're trying to expand their revenues by getting a channel presence. This is another part of that."
While the NetVantage buy covers the low-end LAN market, FlowPoint provided Cabletron with remote access equipment for that part of the market.