With the support of two separate partners, Enterasys Networks has rolled out a $100,000 wireless network in Perth's All Saints' College. The company claims the project is proof Enterasys is still performing well in Australia despite management and financial problems in Asia and the US.
Enterasys channel partner ComputerLec saw the All Saints integration through phase one before pulling out of the area. Another channel partner, Applicon stepped in to manage the continued supply of equipment and service throughout phase two. Applicon will also be responsible for expanding the network as uptake increases.
Sheldon Spear, manager director of Enterasys Australia said schools are one of the first industries capitalising on the value of wireless technology, finding immediate cost savings, increased productivity and protection against mobility and structural change to buildings.
Spear believes private schools are adopting the technology first, simply because they have the money to do so. "Public [schools] would love to but they have to wait six months for the funding," he said.
This trend will reverse as the cost comes down, according to Spear. "Over the last 12 months we've seen prices drop dramatically and uptake increase," he said. Spear believes the combination of VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) over wireless, a solution chosen by All Saints, has enormous benefits for minimising costs which is also spurring adoption.
Meanwhile, the news of accounting irregularities, which resulted in the departure of three Asia Pacific division employees earlier this year, had a mixed impact on Enterasys customers.
"Naturally the issue came up with clients," Spear said. "Some wanted reassurance and others who have been using our solutions for a while said 'Yeah, we saw [the news stories] and we're happy with the service we're getting, you don't need to explain the situation further'."
"We haven't lost a deal over it," he added, although it hasn't been for want of trying by Enterasys' competitors. Spear said competitors have used the incident to spread seeds of doubt amongst customers, mostly in open bid situations.