Wiring Vendor Reaches Out To Network Integrators

Wiring and patchboard supplier Panduit believes network integrators are leaving money on the table if they don't include wiring in their convergence conversations, so much so that it has finagled a relationship with Cisco Systems as its structured wiring partner of choice.

Late last month, Tinley Park, Ill.-based Panduit turned up at a conference with the 1NService alliance group to discuss possible relationships with network integrators and VARs that have not been traditionally part of its partner base.

"You've got to make sure you've got a reliable pipe," said James Jobe, vice president of U.S. sales for Panduit.

A wiring conversation could introduce network integrators to facilities managers, who are planning lucrative "smart building" automation systems that manage lighting, audio/video setups in conference rooms, physical security systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, Jobe said.

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Although details of Panduit's program aren't yet available, Paul Cronin, vice president of Atrion Networking, a network integrator in Warwick, R.I., that's a 1NService member, said the alliance group is helping Panduit define marketing needs and technical considerations.

"We've been searching for a well-known supplier that has a channel out there that would fit," Cronin said.

Panduit, which generated $700 million in sales last year, makes products ranging from Ethernet cables and cable ties to cabinets and rack-mount systems to wiring ducts and wireless solutions. Among other things, it's encouraging the use of Power over Ethernet. Although retrofit discussions are harder to support, Jobe said that in new buildings, the consolidated wiring makes it easier to support future moves and user additions.