General DataComm Unveils Channel Program Around New Enterprise Gear

The company, best know as a 30-plus-year-old supplier of network infrastructure to carriers, introduced a new channel program aimed at putting its line of InnovX routers, switches and access products into enterprise customers' hands via partners.

General DataComm launched its first enterprise offerings in October, a few weeks after it emerged from bankruptcy.

Under the new program, General DataComm plans to sell its InnovX lineup exclusively through solution providers, with plans to grow its enterprise business to account for as much as 50 percent of the company's revenue over the next two to three years, said George Best, vice president of sales and marketing at the Naugatuck, Conn.-based vendor.

While the products are new, some of the underlying technology isn't, benefiting from the company's legacy as a provider of carrier-class technology, Best said.

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"The biggest deterrent to selling our products to the enterprise was price point. With these new products, we're able to overcome that," he said.

As for partners, General DataComm hopes to attract VARs and integrators with a vertical focus on areas such as the financial and government markets, he said.

Solution providers that join the program can expect to make margins of 25 percent to 30 percent, with plans to implement a leasing program in the first quarter, he said. The company also offers a full range of professional services for partners to sell.

With its new enterprise lineup, General DataCom considers itself a niche player that fills holes in networking market leader Cisco Systems' product line. For example, customers might chose Cisco gear for a central office but turn to the InnovX line for remote offices, executives said.

It eyes Adtran, Huntsville, Ala., as its most direct competitor, Best said.

The InnovX family offers a mixture of products that can act standalone or in rack-mounted configurations. The product line uses common blades, a flexible approach that simplifies deployment and reduces network costs, Best said.

General DataComm's currently available enterprise products include InnovX FastRoute, which can be configured to extend the LAN or as a static WAN router; and InnovX FastSwitch, a Layer 2 Ethernet switch that is scalable in 9- or 18- port increments. The company expects to broaden the product line in the next quarter.

Pricing for InnovX FastRoute starts at $895, while FastSwitch starts at $795.