Cabletron's CEO and co-founder, Craig Benson, has released a plan to convince customers, employees and investors that the company has what it takes to not just survive, but to thrive.
In his short time at the helm, Benson has:
Reshaped the management team
Decided to fold the Digital Network business fully into CabletronCreated a customer advisory council and assigned executives to handle key accountsCommitted to acquiring or building lower priced products Decided to eliminate some older products.
While Benson said he will still implement former CEO Don Reed's strategic vision for the company, Benson has already discarded Reed's organisational chart. Under Reed, Cabletron had three separate operating divisions -- an enterprise business unit, a Digital Network Product Group (DNPG) unit, and a Spectrum group. Benson has reorganised the company based on services, rather than products.
To that end, Benson has combined five disparate marketing groups into one unit.
However, observers said that following several key departures from Cabletron's top ranks, the company is scrambling to regain competitiveness with other LAN and WAN hardware suppliers, including Cisco.
Cabletron should refocus away from the carrier space and back on the enterprise, according to one industry analyst, who did not want to be named.
"They're trying to reposition the company to adjust to the shift that's occurring in the networking industry," the analyst added.
According to observers, the shift toward hardware-based routing and switching, based on networks of Layer 3 and Layer 2 switches, is moving the centre of gravity away from Cabletron's current technology, as exemplified by its SecureFast cut-through switching software.
To counter this perception, John D'Auguste, hired from Gateway Computer last year by Reed and promoted to president of operations, laid out a set of goals that emphasised Cabletron's Smart-Switch hardware, its Spectrum management software, and a tightly integrated sales and support organisation.
In addition to Reed, the company has seen in the past several months the departure of Mark Trular, senior director of the network management group and the company's CIO; and Roger Dev, a key architect at Spectrum.