Lucent has launched what it claims to be an "aggressive" trade-in scheme for users of 3Com's high-end switches.
The move follows 3Com's announcement last month that it is exiting the high-end enterprise networking market. Lucent's scheme will initially be available in the US but there are plans to extend it to Europe at a later date.
Lucent is offering customers of 3Com's Corebuilder range a free chassis upgrade to its Cajun Campus family, plus cash refunds for various 3Com modules to be used towards payment of Cajun components. Lucent is also offering promotions to lure 3Com's Superstack network edge customers to its own offerings.
Jim Su, product marketing director for Lucent's Cajun product line, claimed the company has been inundated with calls from 3Com customers, many of whom are "upset" with 3Com's actions and "just want to get out as quickly as they can", he said.
Lucent will have to compete with products from Extreme Networks to which 3Com has recommended its customers migrate. Extreme's trade-in programme, available worldwide, includes discounts of 70 per cent from the list price of its Summit and Black Diamond switching chassis and modules. The company has also agreed to employ 3Com's 200 Corebuilder sales, engineering and marketing staff.
But Lucent's Su argued that Cajun is the only third-party product family that interoperates with 3Com's proprietary virtual Lan technology - called VLT - as well as the industry standard 802.1 P and Q equivalent.
However, George Prodan, vice president of worldwide marketing at Extreme, claimed that VLT has not been widely adopted and that many users require vendors to support the industry standard protocol which Extreme's products also embrace.
Prodan also claimed that Extreme has managed to soothe many of the emotional issues that arose after 3Com's announcement. He said: "Some people felt abandoned, but we've helped them overcome their emotions." He added that he recently met with 3Com's user group to reassure members that Extreme would provide a good migration and after sales support plan, and would continue to recognise the user group's function.
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