Enterasys looking to buy into big-time

Enterasys looking to buy into big-time

Company looking to acquisitions to boost revenue up to US$1 billion

Enterasys is not ready to concede that.

"It does seem like the No. 2 and 3 providers in this space right now are probably doing US$600 to $700 million [in revenue]," Fabiaschi says. "We are far away from US$1 billion. It will take one or two of the right acquisitions that we could get real close to that."

Analysts say acquisition is a good way for Enterasys to go in order to grow.

"There's a couple of companies out there in the WLAN space that are seemingly for sale," says Steve Schuchart of Current Analysis. "There's certainly opportunities for them to acquire an existing customer base and to grow their company via acquisition."

Schuchart adds that firewalls and VPNs are gaps in the Enterasys product line that the company needs to fill "to be a complete player." Enterasys plans to move on that front through internal development and external partnership, says Chris Crowell, Enterasys executive vice president of R&D.

Enterasys is also looking to strengthen its partnerships in VoIP, a market where the company is a virtual non-entity. The company plans to announce partnerships with three "top-tier VoIP players in the world" this year, one of which could come as early as this week, Fabiaschi says.

"We've made a conscious decision not to get into VoIP," Fabiaschi says. "We think that we'd rather be a Switzerland -- we support all the players who provide VoIP but I think we'd end up being a No. 13 or 14 player in a very crowded market."

Enterasys would rather provide the secure infrastructure that recognizes and prioritizes voice traffic instead of a VoIP equipment provider, he says.

The partnerships will not preclude Enterasys from supporting VoIP vendors it does not have a close relationship with, Fabiaschi stresses.

"We will still support Cisco, Avaya, Nortel, Alcatel and Siemens," he says. "The handset provider that you buy today may not be the handset provider that you buy tomorrow. We'll never say to somebody that you don't want Enterasys because you chose this voice provider or that voice provider. Voice is going to turn out to be just another application within another two years. When that happens I want to make sure that our customers realize they can stay with us."

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