Networking vendor Olicom has acquired US company CrossComm in a bid to provide the total network solution from PC Cards through to high-end ATM backbone switching.
According to Thomas J¿rgensen, Olicom's country manager for Australia and New Zealand, CrossComm was chosen for its ATM products, which are considered strong in the IBM-centric world of traditionally SNA-based networks.
CrossComm's focus has been on ATM backbones, said J¿rgensen, and it held a "consistent" management platform for SNA applications. With those technologies in hand, Olicom intends to address the SNA market, which it estimates to be worth about $1.6 billion.
Single management platform
J¿rgensen says the move will enable Olicom to provide its customers with a smooth transition from token ring-based networks to high-avail- ability ATM networking.
He added that the acquisition is a "perfect match" for Olicom, with no products overlapping, and that the two companies will merge their technologies under the Olicom brand name before launching a new range of products.
Both companies' R&D engineers will work together to integrate the technologies. First on the drawing board is CrossComm's SNA management platform, which is to be extended into Olicom's workgroup products, standard token ring hubs and token ring switches.
J¿rgensen says this will bring a uniform management platform for all Olicom products, so that: "Olicom will be able to supply a complete range of products. Resellers and end users will have one source of support, one source of drivers, one source of products and products that are geared to work perfectly together.
"To try to manage a network that is based on four different technologies is hard work. A supplier like Olicom that can supply products in all networking areas with one management platform for the whole area is something that will help the network managers out there in the marketplace," he said.
The first products to be released in the new Olicom range will be backbone switches from CrossComm, integrated with Olicom's token ring technology.
The bulk of the work for Olicom in Australia, J¿rgensen says, will be in educating the channel and its own staff about the new product features and, secondly, changing the direct sales model of CrossComm to the channel model of Olicom.
Finding the right resellers to sell the entire product line of switching and backbone products is also an issue. Olicom is currently talking with several systems integrators about taking on the new product range.
Looking for integrators
"But the problem with a lot of systems integrators is that they already carry Cisco, Bay and four other brands. A fifth brand is not going to help them; it's probably going to confuse them more. So what we are looking for are integrators that don't necessarily have all the names already and grow it from there," J¿rgensen said.
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