Going through the process of selecting and then installing new networking gear is not a trivial process for an airport. At the end of the process, you’d expect that the new gear would stay in place for several years, but that’s not what happened with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. Their story is one that should serve as a cautionary tale to IT buyers about the need to understand your requirement first before you jump in and acquire technology.
The Columbus Regional Airport was a 3Com shop using networking equipment and management tools from that vendor.
“When it became apparent that the writing was on the wall for 3Com and they were getting close to getting bought out or changing direction, that’s when we started to look at other platforms,” J. Shawn Prince, PMP, Technology Services (TS), Operations & Infrastructure Manager at Columbus Regional Airport Authority told InternetNews.com. Prince noted that cost was a focus as was a long term focus on what the airport authority required. 3Com ended up being acquired by HP in 2010 for $2.7 billion.
Prince said that they did an RFP and when they got the results back, due to the support model and the upfront pricing, they decided to go with HP. Prince noted that the Columbus Regional Airport Authority then began the process of migrating from 3Com to HP equipment. One of the big things that the airport authority was adding to their network was VoIP capabilities and that’s where the troubles began.