Trapeze Launches Medical Program To Nurture Top Health-Care VARs

According to Trapeze, the move will be one of several the wireless LAN vendor makes in the next year to realign some of its channel sales strategy with specific vertical markets, including education and government.

"We have a deep reach into the health-care customer base," said Bart Tillmans, Trapeze's vice president of worldwide marketing. "We're putting on our health-care glasses and looking at the demands of these types of settings. Interoperability is a big factor, for example, and we need the types of partners that understand that. Really, recruiting is not even the right word -- it's more that we're finding collaborations. These are very strategic levels of interoperability with an eye toward the long-term horizon."

According to Tillmans, from a product standpoint, Trapeze Medical will see the vendor pushing its wireless products as part of health care-specific solution sets for settings such as enterprise hospitals, clinics and residential care facilities.

Trapeze will help its partners develop full solutions around realtime location services such as location tracking, location-based security, asset management and content delivery for electronic medical records, as well as individual technologies such as access points, medical laptops and voice-over-wireless-IP handsets.

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In addition, Trapeze Medical will promote APIs and SDKs for application development and, for product sets, leverage the vendor's strategic partnerships with voice vendors such as Avaya and ShoreTel, clinical care vendors such as McKesson and Meditech, medical administration vendors such as Pixus and other vendors, such as Dell, Motion Computing and Phillips, that provide specialized medical setting equipment.

For the channel, Trapeze will offer a health-care certification program for its integrators and VARs that will provide training on how to deploy Trapeze products and other products in those solution sets to health-care settings.

Mark Gemberling, a former GE Medical national sales manager who is now Trapeze's vice president of sales, Americas, will lead the effort, Tillmans said. Trapeze also will offer its channel the support of both Trapeze's enterprise U.S. sales force and parent company Belden's sales team. (Belden acquired Trapeze in June 2008 for $133 million, and those two previously separate sales entities recently were merged, according to Tillmans.)

Tillmans said the proliferation of wireless technologies will continue apace in health-care settings that need to rely on them in mission-critical environments. Among Trapeze's goals with Trapeze Medical, he said, is to develop solution providers who live and breathe health-care wireless deployments, and who understand, said Tillmans, that "the 'technology-is-superior' message alone won't bring you very far in this market."

Trapeze Medical partners will need gold partner status with Trapeze, and be able to demonstrate that they've sold successfully into three hospitals using Trapeze or Trapeze OEM-equivalent solutions, plus offer additional products and services such as security, VoIP, managed services or professional services such as site planning and configuration.

It's with those partners, Tillmans said, that Trapeze will focus on broadening its global health-care reach and develop new business.

"We need to establish the community of partners that can speak credibly with hospital customers about wireless, and who know their limitations and welcome the support of Trapeze and our partners," he said. "We have many resellers but only a few have the sales teams and expertise that they can legitimately be considered health-care-focused. So often they tell me that wireless [in health-care] is really like air. You only start missing it the moment it's not there."