On the comeback trail

Active device player Enterasys has established a direct presence in the Middle East and is looking to build its business.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  April 30, 2005

|~|Silvester_m.jpg|~|“We differentiate ourselves by making sure the data is secure — we inspect data packets, we know who is sending and receiving data and we know what users will do with it.” - Matthew Silvester, regional sales manager for Enterasys.|~|Way back in the history of networking Enterasys was once offered a fledgling start-up named Cisco but turned it down. While Cisco has gone on to dominate networking, Enterasys has hit difficult times. The network vendor has been rocked by allegations that senior management inflated the value of the company to maintain stock prices and has announced job cuts that will reduce staff levels from last year’s figure of 1,400 to around 700. “The company has seen flat growth in the last few quarters and has decided to streamline costs and focus on core competencies, which include switching, routing and security products,” says Matthew Silvester, regional sales manager for Enterasys. “The cuts will have no effect on our plans in the Middle East, where we have seen 500% growth from Q104 to Q105 and where we plan to grow business 100% from Q105 to Q106,” he adds. Enterasys is looking aggressively to new markets to revive its sagging sales and established a more direct presence in the Middle East by placing sales and technical staff with partner WiSP Gulf in January. Enterasys has had distribution partnerships in the region with WiSP Gulf for several years and with Telematics for 10 years. These have yielded modest business, which Enterasys is looking to build on. Another key part of the vendor’s strategy is leveraging its worldwide partnerships with Siemens and Lucent to get a presence on regional bids for tender. These predominately voice players have a good fit with the end-to-end data offering of Enterasys and their already well-established business affords Enterasys a valuable opportunity. The tie-up with Lucent, for example, has opened up a trial with Saudi Telecom. “It would have been nice to be here earlier but the market is growing rapidly and there are a lot of opportunities,” says Silvester. “We’re already doing work at the Dubai tourist centre Madinat Jumeriah and we’re looking at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), which has a big tender out. There are other tenders where we’ve been narrowed down to last two and others where we have won as long as the trial periods run smoothly,” he adds. The vendor lines up against Cisco and other network hardware players such as Foundry and Extreme and is looking to a blend of high-end features coupled with attractive pricing to make a splash. Enterasys sees security as its forte and in common with other infrastructure players is making security an integral part of its wired and wireless infrastructure. “There is very little difference in terms of data transfer speeds among the top ten switching players, we can all get the data through,” says Silvester. “We differentiate ourselves by making sure the data is secure — we inspect data packets, we know who is sending and receiving data and we know what users will do with it,” he explains. Enterasys says it has been focusing heavily on security for four years and claims that this is longer than its rivals. The company has a wide range of security aware products including secure switches, the NetSight management application and the Dragon intrusion prevention system (IPS), which is being used on a trial basis at the Madinat Jumeriah. The security claims of Enterasys are backed up by independent research, with Forrester Research praising its holistic management approach in a 2004 report – Securing the Campus Network. It said that Enterasys NetSight provides a switching management platform that integrates security functions, which means that network managers can use one console to track both security and traffic information.||**||

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