Chip Thompson, general manager of LevelOne Technology, a Waco, Texas-based infrastructure solution provider and Enterasys Platinum partner, said the OneFabric concept has caught on with his customers, many of which are K-12 school districts stymied by budget cuts. They like the fact that they can optimize their data center and networking needs gradually, he added.
"They really like to manage using the single pane and like the idea of being able to integrate a wired solution into their wireless management tool and set policies for wired and wireless even on products that aren't labeled Enterays," Thompson said. "Usually, the customers are interested in doing it a piece at a time and they like being able to stitch on another piece with OneFabric without doing a great, big forklift upgrade. It works well for them to cut their teeth on one piece before they start adding other pieces."
Most of his OneFabric customers start at switching and the wireless edge, Thompson said, because they're wrestling with bring-your-own-device challenges. With OneFabric, Thompson's team can apply it to a range of customer needs; Thompson said he's seen OneFabric deals as modest as $30,000 and as sizable as $800,000.
"Technology directors say you never get fired for buying Cisco, but if they start with a piece of Enterasys and get comfortable and they know you, like you and trust you, they see the long-term cost benefits of working with you," he said. "We like to keep our customers for a long time; we're not in it for the one-hit, see-you-later type of sale."
LevelOne's Enterasys sales in recent months are double what they were for all of the previous year, partially a reflection of pipeline business that paid out during the current quarter but also a testament to Enterasys' strength, Thompson said.
The company expects its Enterasys business to have quadrupled by the end of the year. LevelOne is also a professional services partner for Enterasys, meaning it's called in to provide services on Enterasys deals all over the country.
Thompson praised Enterasys' overall channel support and regular incentives such as sales spifs.
"We're not a huge VAR, but the company is so transparent and we can go all the way to the top with them if we need to," Thompson said. "We rely on them for assistance and product knowledge and they've demonstrated long-term support."