Prion opens wireless doors

Prion opens wireless doors

Prion Technology has staked a claim on the mobile executive market, inking a distribution deal with Cabletron subsidiary Enterasys for its LAN wireless products.

The agreement opens the door for Prion to the much-talked-about wireless market with entry-level wireless network interface cards (NICs) with built-in antennas and LAN products.

Under the agreement, Prion will distribute starter packs with six NICs and Enterasys' wireless LAN range, including the present 11Mbps RoamAbout model.

Ian Fewtrell, Enterasys' managing director, told [ital]ARN[ital] the decision to go through Prion rather than its traditional distributors was based on Prion's aggressive attitude to the market, backed by its SOHO focus.

"Prion is known for fast, efficient delivery and excellent customer service. We expect this partnership to be a long-term relationship based on mutual openness, integrity and reliability," Fewtrell said.

Likewise, Prion's managing director, Michael Bosnar, is looking to grow this distribution agreement to include a host of Enterasys (Cabletron) products further down the track.

Bosnar said the company expects to generate up to $3 million in wireless sales in the first year by leveraging wireless as an "executive sell", and one which will augment Prion's notebook sales currently cranking out at $25 million a year.

On the reseller front, Bosnar claims the distributor will be driving its entry into this market through 25-30 of its largest channel partners to build brand awareness and end-user demand, as well as making a foray into the retail market.

"In addition to traditional VARs and resellers, consumer market catalogues such as Myers, Officeworks, and Vox Group will include wireless LANs for the first time," said Bosnar. "Importantly, the wireless price point is now widely accepted by the largest retailers and users."

Bosnar predicts wireless technology will be the company's fastest growing product range and claims wireless maturity dispels the early adopter problems of the past.

"[Enterasys] has successfully addressed the key user issues of speed, reliability and compatibility, matched by a very strong end-user price point," Bosnar said. "Basically we're taking this on board because it works."

Both Fewtrell and Bosnar see a number of advantages for the wireless products, with increased productivity and ease of use of primary benefit. With mobile executives having access to their company's network and the Internet within a radius of 200 metres from an access point, Fewtrell claims wiring boardrooms for presentations or recabling for new employees becomes a thing of the past.

Enterasys and Prion are also gearing the wireless LAN range around the SOHO market. "The Australian market is potentially bigger than in the US, because unlike the States, every room in the house doesn't have a telephone jack, so dial-in service is limited to running phone cables from room to room," Fewtrell said.

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