Watch out Aruba and Meru, says Trapeze

You might think that cabling company Belden and its wireless subsidiary Trapeze are pulling in opposite directions, but not so, says Trapeze president Jim vogt.

Belden's putting money behind Trapeze, and the company is going to put its products up for fair comparison with the competition, he told Techworld.

Pure wireless LAN companies like Aruba and Meru often base a pitch on savings to be made by using wireless LANs instead of cables. One might think that this message wouldh't be popular in a company whose sole goal is to sell more cable, but not so, says Trapeze president Jim Vogt.

"People said we were going to die on thie vine," Vogt told me. "But it's not so." Instead,Trapeze has kept its identity, but cross-trained some sales people in Belden. The results are good, says Vogt, bringing sales in both directions: "We closed a $250,000 wireless LAN deal, and Belden got another $100,000 for the cabling part." Meanwhile, companies that cable with Belden are being encouraged to use Trapeze - in some cases, this could even flip a big customer from Aruba to Trapeze, Vogt predicted.

The good part for Belden about having wireless to sell is that wireless is much more likely to be bundled with applications, such as location and voice, which can be tailored to vertical markets, and which make more margin.

All this adds up to more investment in Trapeze, said Vogt, claiming that rivals Meru and Aruba have more limited funds to draw on - even despite Aruba's successful IPO.

So, we ask, is this new surge of confidence going to extend to Trapeze taking part in group tests? The major wireless LAN vendors are notoriously reluctant to actually put their products into neutral tests alongside other vendors, producing bizarre results.

Minor player Bluesocket recently "winning" a group test which was boycotted by Trapeze, Aruba and Cisco.    Meanwhle, Trapeze sponsored tester Tolly Group to produce a report which apparently shows Trapeze networks are more resilient than Cisco's - but is likely to be ignored given its Trapeze sponsorship.

Will this change? "Group tests are absolutely on the schedule," said Vogt. "It would be nice to see more of them."

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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