Newbridge Networks has shrunk many of its carrier targeted products to address what it claims is a new enterprise market.
It is targeting the newly tweaked products at enterprise service providers (ESPs), a market which Newbridge defines as IT departments that serve the rest of their organisations.
The difference between this and traditional IT departments is that ESPs are under service level agreements (SLAs) and can be sacked if their work is not up to scratch, explained Andy Williams, marketing director at Newbridge.
ESPs would compete against traditional telecomms and networking outsourcing firms such as the services arm of BT. Newbridge also believes there is a trend of firms regaining control of their networks after disappointing outsourcing arrangements.
Said Williams, "The regrets of outsourcing include speed of response when the business changed and the realisation that outsourcers didn't have any more resource that they did internally. Also outsourcers are never motivated to over achieve their SLAs."
According to a survey by Spikes Cavell of 200 network managers of large UK firms that have 'insourced', 22 per cent said they are wholly funded by their internal 'customers', compared to 52 per cent who have central IT budgets.
The majority - 88 per cent - of respondents said the benefits of insourcing is they gain more control over the network, while 80 per cent praised the faster response times.
However some challenges and constraints may remain even if firms insource or outsource. Of the respondents, 82 per cent blamed the ever present skills shortage as a constraint, as well as staff shortage, which 67 per cent cited.
Despite these factors, the ESP market will reach $4.8 billion this year, $1.6 billion of which will be from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Unsurprisingly Newbridge has "distilled" some of its carrier products to sell to this market, including the 36170 ATM multiservice switch. The ESP version is the 36177 without carrier level scalability. Also available are several network and service management products.
Newbridge already sells to enterprises and in Europe the revenue split between end user organisations and service providers is 60:40. Globally the ratio is 70:30 to carriers.
To boost its enterprise efforts Newbridge made what many analysts believe is a disastrous acquisition of Lan company UB Networks in 1996. UB's commodity desktop market proved too alien to Newbridge and UB staff either left or were redeployed. Newbridge still ships UB's Geolan 500 Layer 2/3 desktop concentrator.
"The acquisition was a disaster for Newbridge and set it back a year. But it's now water under the bridge," said Paul Silverstein, wide area networking analyst at Banc Boston Robertson Stephens.
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