SMC Debuts New Wireless Products; Demo Program On Tap

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SMC is slated to introduce a new edge enterprise access point later this month and is developing its own brand of wireless switch. The networking vendor is also set to unveil a demo program for its high-end products in August, said SMC CEO Sean Keohane.

"We'll give [solution provider partners] a switch free and, if 30 days from now you don't like it and it doesn't work, fine, then I have a problem," he said of the demo program, adding it will include such products as the new SMC TigerStack III 10/100 24-port managed switch, introduced last week at a list price of $599.

SMC's Keohane: Vendor has to get more solution providers to try its products.

"But I know we've got solid products," Keohane said. "We've just got to get more solution providers to try them."

Angie Wong, CEO of Fremont, Calif.-based Network Designs Integration Services and Ojo Technologies, welcomes demo programs from any vendor but said she isn't clear about which market SMC is trying to target.

"As solution providers, we are very clear about what we want to put where, so I think SMC needs to improve their strategy and get their message out more," she said. "But I also think giving the products for the VARs to test out is a smart move."

The SMC 802.11 a/g enterprise access point being introduced this month will cost between one-half and one-third of Cisco Systems' competing product, or about $500 to $750, Keohane said. That price is more in line with wireless networking competitor Proxim, which earlier this year dropped the price of two of its Orinoco access points by about $300 each: the Orinoco AP-2000 to $595 and the Orinoco AP-2500 to $795.

Meanwhile, the wireless switch under development will include the central management capabilities of other wireless switches, Keohane said. He declined to reveal a price.

Keohane said SMC, with its new products and channel push, is trying to move from the SOHO space to the small to midsize business markets and the edge of the enterprise.

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