LETTERS: Foundry versus the 'evil empire'

LETTERS: Foundry versus the 'evil empire'

I would like to respond to the Meta Group comments about Foundry Networks and the enterprise networking market in general (ARN, April 24, page 1).

The first point I must make is that the comment by Mr Kozup that Foundry focuses on the ISP and Web hosting market is, and has always been, inaccurate. While Foundry does generate significant revenue from sales to telcos and ISPs worldwide, Foundry has always had a strong presence in a number of enterprise markets. This includes digital post-production/entertainment customers such as Lucasfilm, Dreamworks, Pixar Digital, Weta Digital, The Mill and Fox Sports USA. It also includes the university market, with over 150 universities worldwide; the metropolitan network market, which is huge in Asia at the moment; research and development; and even the US Department of Defense.

I should point out that our very first customer was Lucasfilm, which bought the world's first Gigabit Ethernet switch from Foundry back in 1997 - and Lucasfilm has been a strong Foundry site ever since. As a percentage of revenue, Foundry generates around 45 per cent from the telco market and 55 per cent from the enterprise market - hardly just focusing on ISPs and Web hosting.

The second point to note is that, contrary to the Meta Group comments, Foundry has had a worldwide services capability through a contract with Unisys for more than two years.

The third point is that Foundry's strategy to deal with customers internationally (outside the US domestic market) has always been to use the local reseller channel. Clearly if Meta cannot see a channel strategy then it probably did not look outside continental US. Then again, that is not unusual for US-based research companies.

I might also point out that for the financial year to December 2001, Foundry Networks remained profitable, the only networking company based in the US to do so, and has been profitable for the last three consecutive years. Foundry is also debt free and has significant cash reserves.

It is a shame that a spokesman for an international research organisation such as Meta Group can get things so wrong, apparently not bothering to check any of his "facts". Foundry has grown as a company by producing leading-edge technology that has been years ahead of the much-vaunted market leader.

We are proud to have customers interested in superior performance at a more attractive price - customers prepared to buy Foundry modular and scalable switching solutions in preference to spending more money on what we consider highly priced but poorly performing network equipment from the networking "evil empire".

Gordon Vick,

Regional director, South Asia-Pacific,

Foundry Networks.

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