RealTime IT News

Xirrus Scores OEM Deal

Westlake Village, California-based Xirrus, maker of the Wireless LAN Array that puts up to 16 access points in one unit to cover an entire floor or building with connectivity, soon won't be the only one with the Array. The company has signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with ADC , a Minneapolis-based company that provides network infrastructure and services in 140 countries.

The WLAN Array will become part of ADC's current Digivance brand of wireless products. Currently, Digivance includes products for wide-area wireless network repeating and distribution, making sure enterprises have full cellular coverage even in a complex like a building or stadium where signals might not otherwise penetrate.

"They'll make our complete line of products available under the ADC name, selling to customers and channel partners," says Xirrus marketing director John DiGiovanni. "Now they can do wired, wide-area wireless, and Wi-Fi."

This is ADC's first entry into the 802.11 world, and also marks the first time Xirrus, which launched less than a year ago in March 2005, is licensing its technology out for use by others.

"Our business model is set up for two lines," says DiGiovanni. "One is branded business, reselling our products through a two-tiered channel with our brand name. Second is OEMs. We've been set up all along to go this dual path to bring products to market... there will be more [OEM deals] to follow."

ADC was attracted to the company by its technology, says DiGiovanni. "Most people do the switch and thin AP model, but we have the next generation here, and ADC sees the value in the way we architected our solution," he says. "That was one of the big draws for them." The Xirrus Array is one of the few products with this type of approach still around, especially after the recent demise of Vivato with its phased-array base stations. Some other companies have hinted at such products — even Airespace, which Cisco absorbed last year — but haven't yet come to market with them.  

This week is also the first announcement of Xirrus taking funding from an outside source. It spent its first year self-funded, and while it won't say how much it took in this first round, it added several of the venture capitalists behind the funding to its board.