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‘‘Security is a major concern for IT managers today’’

Having structured itself into four different operating units-Enterasys Networks, Global Network Technology Services, Riverstone and Aprisma--the erstwhile Cabletron Systems Inc has become more customer-centric in a well-defined marketspace.

Uday Birje, country manager, India & SAARC Region for Enterasys Networks, is upbeat that the four-way split has gone down well with the Indian customers. He shares his views with Network Magazine on what are Enterasys' positioning, the general market trends and his wish list for the years ahead.

Why is Enterasys Networks alone more dominant in the Indian market? What happened to the other companies?
Even worldwide Enterasys has the biggest chunk of business; Of a total revenue of US $ 1.5 billion, Enterasys contributes one billion. Since India is still not a mature market for network management or high end consulting, these companies are not present here. Enterasys is going to be the flagship company. We are doing pretty well in the local market. In the last one-year, we have bagged all the major LAN infrastructure projects. We've also won several call center business customers. Also in the switching market, we are the leaders as per the recent IDC survey. We have about 70 per cent marketshare in Layer 3 switches.

As an industry leader can you enumerate the key technology trends that would influence the domestic marketplace?
I would say that today Layer 3 is taking over the next generation enterprise and service providers' networks. This is one key network infrastructure area that is here to stay.

Secondly, VPNs are getting deployed in large numbers. On the one hand you have VPN services being offered by ISPs and on the other, you see an increase in the number of corporate VPNs that are being created. Wireless LANs is another interesting concept, which is taking off in the domestic market.

As far as core networking technology goes, it would be Gigabit Ethernet in the backbone and 100 mbps to the desktop that would dominate large networks in the next few months.

Although much is being talked about WAP, Bluetooth and GPRS, I think at this stage it is more of hype. It will be another two years before these technologies are deployed extensively in India. At a broader level, there will be significant opportunities in broadband both in the access and backbone.

What do you think are the main concerns of IT managers today?
Today networks are becoming complex; more and more devices are getting added to the network. In this scenario, the biggest threat to the network is security or the lack of it. With VPNs getting deployed extensively, security of data is becoming a crucial issue. IT managers are also becoming quite security conscious and have begun asking for newer and better firewalls, intrusion detection systems, etc.

Another concern is the level of service. MIS managers are looking for intelligent services and there is a great degree of change in attitude; at last customers are willing to pay for quality services. However, one must not forget that in India, the networking products and services market is nascent, and people will continue to be price-conscious.

What is your wish list for the next couple of years?
I think buyers should go by technology and solutions rather than marketshare and other hype. Our ambition is to continue this 100 per cent growth rate; Telecom policies will have to become more liberal and should facilitate infrastructure; automatically there will be more business happening. Lastly, import duties will have to come down.

NM - Aparna Achar

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