RealTime IT News

3Com to OEM Switch Products

Marlborough, Mass.-based 3Com Corp. and Wi-Fi switch vendor Trapeze Networks of Pleasanton, Calif., today announced a strategic product agreement that will see 3Com releasing new products using Trapeze technology over the next few months.

"We're making our move into the switch market to let us extend our current enterprise line," says Brent Nixon, director of product management for 3Com. "This gives our customers solutions they really want, and will let us continue in segments of the market that are growing the fastest."

3Com is hoping to target a variety of verticals with the new product line, including healthcare, education, and even the public access market in hotels and airports.

"When you get [a deployment of] more than 10 access points, the cost of management comes into play," says Nixon. Security and applications like voice are also major factors that 3Com feels Trapeze can handle while still remaining standards-based, which Nixon says is important to 3Com customers.

Eventually the two companies hope to go beyond just an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationship and develop a tighter integration of existing 3Com products -- wired and wireless -- with the Trapeze technology.

Trapeze's switch works usually with "thinAPs" called Mobility Points, also resold by Trapeze. 3Com wouldn't confirm that it will sell a version of the Mobility Point, or exactly how the product lines will work together. Ahmet Tuncay, vice president of Business Development at Trapeze, says that his company's products have strong support for third party access points, and that "it's possible -- practical, in fact -- for Trapeze to take installed access points on the network, and by downloading new code, we can turn it into a Trapeze AP."

Tuncay says the Trapeze brand remains valuable to the company, and they plan to continue selling products for the foreseeable future -- they won't be turning exclusively into a technology provider to OEMs.

3Com expects to announce its first Trapeze switch products later this year.