With the hype surrounding Bluetooth wireless connectivity gaining momentum, Madge Networks' subsidiary Red-M has tuned into the enterprise space for its Bluetooth expansion.
Red-M has announced a new Bluetooth enterprise server 3000AS and access point 1000AP.
According to Red-M director of business development Michael Beadsmoore, the server and the low-cost access point provides Bluetooth radio coverage of up to 100 metres at speeds of up to 1Mbps.
The server is designed to connect any Bluetooth enabled device, such as a laptop, PDA or mobile/WAP phone, to a company's LAN or the Internet. The Linux-based 3000AS server also provides the platform to run a company's e-mail or Web server applications, as well as providing Web caching, secure firewalls and virtual private networking functions, company officials claim.
The sleek silver or black box resembles a small fan heater and Beadsmoore claims the stand-alone form factor of the 3000AS server is designed to be unobtrusive in the small office environment. However, Red-M has earmarked a number of possible applications, such as cafés or airports, where a customer would be able to access the Internet via their PDA as soon as they walk in the door.
But resellers will not have an easy time in partnering with Red-M to start rolling out its 3000AS access servers when they begin shipping in November. For starters, they will have to get past Ian Lisle, Madge Network's sales director for Asia-Pacific. While Lisle is optimistic about the opportunities that exist for some of "the right" resellers, he has been openly critical about the channel's "parasitic" nature in the past.
"Some integrators take technology from two or three [vendors] to the customer and implement a truly end-to-end solution. These are the guys we are interested in working with," affirms Lisle. "But to be honest, a lot of resellers are parasites. They ring me up and say 'we want to sell your product.' And I say to them, well what are your core competencies? What [vendor] partners do you work with? What kind of support can you offer? A lot of these guys are only interested in shifting a box and getting paid for it. But as soon as something goes wrong, they point the finger at [the vendor].