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Cabletron looks to corporate niche

The company is sorting through a variety of options to boost the company's revenue stream and revamp its core line of products.

LAS VEGAS--Cabletron Systems has turned to its past to pave the way for its future.

Cabletron executives announced a broad strategy that essentially returns the focus of the firm to enterprise corporate networking, with a few nods to current trends in the market.

The company is sorting through a variety of options to boost the company's revenue stream in light of recent fiscal woes and revamp its core line of products, as previously reported by CNET's NEWS.COM.

At an event here at the Networld+Interop trade show, Cabletron announced new versions of the company's SmartSwitch line that boost performance and lower price.

"We see a lot of potential for things we've been doing for a long time but we never made enough noise to get much attention," said Craig Benson, president, CEO, and cofounder.

The company announced that an initial version of the SmartSwitch Router, acquired in the Yago Systems purchase, is now shipping and can carry packets at 15 million packets per second.

A version that supports 16 slots and can send traffic at 30 million packets per second is due in the third quarter, Cabletron executives said.

Allen Finch, senior vice president of worldwide product marketing and corporate strategy, said the company's marketing organization has been centralized from a previously dispersed strategy that included as many as six different marketing fiefdoms.

"Our goal is to get to market faster. If we don't have resources to do it ourselves, we will go outside to acquire [that ability]," Finch said.

The company also rolled out a strategy to incorporate voice over IP, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), and frame relay, with initial modules for the SmartSwitch line and a standalone box for small businesses due in September.

Also, company executives stressed a new plan to incorporate a third party sales channel, with a goal to reap 50 percent of its revenue from integrators and resellers.

Rumors have swirled about acquisitions as well as a spin-off of the company's successful Spectrum network management software division.

"We have considered spinning off Spectrum, and it's still up for discussion. No decision has been made," Benson said.

Previously reported Cabletron acquisition candidate NetVantage was not mentioned during the press conference.

Users remain convinced that Cabletron has what it takes. "I feel very comfortable with the company, and I'm going to stay with it for a while," said Chuck Benton, a network specialist for Nevada Power, a public utility.