Airespace Branches Out

By Carmen Nobel  |  Posted 2004-11-15 Print this article Print

Airespace, of San Jose, Calif., meanwhile, is looking to enter new markets, such as mesh networking, within the next few months, according to company officials. More immediately, the company is expanding its sales channels by partnering with major systems integrators. The company signed a deal with IBM Global Services earlier this fall, and more agreements are forthcoming, according to company officials.

"We get a significant lift from partners," said Galloway. "Because our product is easier to manage than the incumbents, it makes for a better business case."

For WLAN (wireless LAN) switch companies, the most prevalent competition is Cisco, despite its acknowledged reputation for complicated management tools and slow rollouts for new hardware.

"Were 20 times their size in the wireless market," said Charlie Giancarlo, chief technology officer at Cisco, also in San Jose, who said Cisco is on track to surpass $1 billion in WLAN hardware sales. "In many cases, we wont be first to market. We have to put a large amount of investment in anything we take to market because, unlike the startups, were not taking a product to one customer but to hundreds."

Many customers are willing to wait.

Read more here about Ciscos advances in WLAN security. "There are customers whose incumbent relationships cant be turned," said Airespaces Galloway. "I have heartburn creating new vendor relationships, particularly in the wake of the bubble."

For instance, Qualcomm Inc. plans to use Cisco gear in its next upgrade because of Ciscos long-standing reputation as a switch and router company.

"We always continue to look at Cisco because theres so much there," said Norm Fjeldheim, CIO of Qualcomm, in San Diego. "My impression is that most of [the WLAN startups] wont be around that long because their technology will be subsumed. Ciscos a lot like Microsoft."

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