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Enterasys is also getting partners to think about OneFabric in the context of the software-defined networking (SDN) trend, Enterasys' Appalaraju said. The majority of Enterasys' 800-plus patents, he said, are in software, and OneFabric itself is right in line with the SDN ideal of programmable, easier-to-manage network infrastructure.
"You can take away complexity by building a credible software architecture that performs the networking function," he explained. "We are a software-defined networking company. We have all the intelligence, from the support, and scalability, to the similar look and feel between wired and wireless. That's all done in software. We're watching the industry commoditize on some of the hardware, and if such a thing continues to happen, we are ready."
Pyrinex, a Blacklick, Ohio-based solution provider, has been an Enterasys partner for about a year and a half and has about $500,000 in pipeline Enterasys business over the next 12 months, said Ashley Haynes, director of business development.
Pyrinex has substantial relationships with Cisco and HP, but Haynes said Enterasys' switching and wireless options have been appealing for midmarket customers seeking mature products at more favorable price points.
"It's been a real pleasure working with them," Haynes said. "The product itself, both the switch product and the wireless products, is really easy to configure and deploy, as is NetSight [the network management product]. They give us a lot of attention, too, on the marketing side."
Pyrinex had a county government customer in Ohio that had raved about Enterasys, Haynes recalled, which is how Enterasys and Pyrinex first partnered.
Enterasys is challenged by a comparative lack of marketing air cover and markets where Cisco is deeply entrenched. But, Haynes said Enterasys has an advantage in that financial pressures are also pushing customers to look at more price-conscious alternatives to Cisco.
"A reason I think they're moving forward is the economy, not just the good channel programs," he said. "We have clients, specifically K-12 education clients, where it plays very well. I've got districts point-blank saying to me that they're not interested in Cisco because they have to cut costs. So, you think about Enterasys and the mature product and the lifetime warranty, and you have a really good fit for midsize and SMB customers. Companies are more apt to talk to someone like Enterasys now where they might not have before."