Cabletron president and CEO Bob Levine said his company will resist the temptation to join the scramble to buy up companies in the networking industry, calling the strategy "futile".
Levine slammed 3Com?s acquisition of US Robotics, and the formation of Bay Networks from Wellfleet and Synoptics. "We have grown with core technology. We made four acquisitions of around $150 million but we would rather develop the technology ourselves," he said. Despite his damning views on the consolidation in networking, he refused to rule out a large acquisition. "I would never say never," Levine admitted.
He said 3Com?s buy puts it in the commodity product business. "I?m not going to play in that market. You need two different management products to run their products." Levine was also damning of Cisco?s products. "There is no value add - and Bay Networks is the same. Since you slapped Wellfleet and Synoptics together they haven?t made products on one chassis."
Cabletron, which reported a turnover of $1.4 billion in its 1997 financial year to February, has true consistency, he said. "We have the same people, we own our manufacturing and will not obsolete our products by buying others," he argued. "Customers are loyal to us."
Levine told attendees at the Hambrecht and Quist Technology Conference in San Francisco that the networking market will converge, with all companies offering similar products. "Our vision is to make sure we provide better service and support - like our investment in our global call centre," he said.
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