Wireless LAN Bonanza

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Solution providers that are not exploiting the lucrative wireless networking opportunity are putting themselves at risk.

The wireless revolution is a paradigm shift every bit as powerful as the LAN and client/server shifts that made millionaires out of thousands of savvy solution providers. CRN Executive Producer Jeff O'Heir chronicles the excitement surrounding this opportunity in a report in this issue from Comdex Chicago.

The wireless revolution is taking hold in the small- to midsize-business (SMB) and small-office/home-office (SOHO) markets faster than in the corporate market, due in large part to a new wave of vendors with hot, aggressively priced products and solid channel programs focused on the SMB arena.

STEVEN BURKE Can be reached at (781) 839-1221 or via e-mail at sburke@cmp.com.

Linksys, D-Link, SMC and U.S. Robotics are among the companies bringing products to market that provide strong, double-digit profit-margin opportunities.

While many technology companies are cutting back, Linksys and SMC both just moved into larger facilities to accommodate their explosive growth. Linksys, which grew its sales 75 percent last year, expects to ship 2.5 million wireless networking devices this year, up from 1 million last year.

All-City Computers, a 16-year-old Camarillo, Calif.-based solution provider, is beefing up its top and bottom lines by partnering with Linksys. "This is a good market," said Larry Tartisel, general manager of All-City. "It's much easier and less expensive than rewiring a business or home office."

All-City recently teamed up with Linksys' sales and technical talent to host a Saturday morning seminar for about 150 people from the Channel Islands PC User Group. This kind of partnership and sales and technical support makes Linksys one of All-City's top partners, said Tartisel.

U.S. Robotics, which initially was hesitant to attend Comdex Chicago to unveil its new solution provider program, reports that it ran out of application forms for the new program on only the second day of the show.

The bottom line: Get on board the fast-moving wireless networking train and ride it to big sales and profits,or risk being left behind at the station.

Which wireless vendors are good partners? Let me know at (781) 839-1221 or via e-mail at sburke@cmp.com.

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