Boutique switch manufacturer Top Layer Networks wentback to the drawing board after a difficult year in 2000. Now it's back, and brandishing a new channel program designed to identify some specialist partners that company officials say will reverse its fortunes.
"To be perfectly honest, we've been a channel-oriented company that hasn't really had a channel program that's worked," admits Alex Turkington, Top Layer Networks area vice president.
Since establishing an office in Australia in 1999, the company, which solely develops Layer 7 switches and subsequent data collection software, signed up with LAN Systems as its master distributor.
"This isn't a very traditional technology, it's a new technology, but when [Top Layer Networks] came to Australia we were using a traditional channel approach and hoping to leverage all the partners LAN Systems had at its disposal," explains Turkington. "Clearly every LAN Systems [reseller] isn't going to fit the mould of a [Layer 7] systems integrator."
The result - Top Layer Networks has thrown down the gauntlet to specialist systems integrators to jointly develop the secure Web switching market. According to Turkington, the company is on the lookout for a select group of integrators that specialise in network security to partner with the company in exploiting what it sees as an untapped market.
Top Layer prides its technology on its ability to analyse the applications level of a packet and enable network administrators to establish security, bandwidth and management policies.
The company's Secure Web Switching Alliance Program is designed to provide resellers with the training, sales support and lead generation to sell Top Layer into ISP, ASP and large enterprise environments.
LAN Systems is also coming to the party, offering discount incentives for the specialist integrators. Nick Verykios, general manager for LAN Systems Australia and New Zealand, claims the distributor is backing the program to the tilt.
"[The program] encourages resellers to move beyond the traditional model and better differentiate themselves in the market place, rewarding those who succeed," says Verykios.
Using it's Layer 7 switching product and data collection software, Top Layer also provides niche billing solutions to second-tier carriers.
Photograph: Top Layer area VP Alex Turkington.