• 11/12/2002
    7:00 PM
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Ken Koch, President and CEO, Inrange

"Will Cisco execute? Time will tell. We've been delivering what enterprises need for the last 30 years."
This summer Ken Koch became Inrange Technologies Corp.'s (Nasdaq: INRG) third CEO in less than a year. A CEO turnover rate like doesn't always indicate that a company is in trouble, but, well, Inrange has been in trouble.

First, the whole industry has been in a slump, slowing sales of high-end Fibre Channel director switches that make up about one quarter of Inrange's revenue. Inrange also trailed its competitors to market with support for 2-Gbit/s by several months, though it's since bridged that gap and actually boosted sales of its FC/9000 director in the most recent quarter (see Inrange Lags on 2-Gig and Inrange Ups FC Director Sales).

In any case, the company says, the transition to 2-Gbit/s FC is more about investment protection than winning bragging rights about being first to market with a new technology. "SANs do not have performance issues -- they have management issues," says Dale Lafferty, VP of marketing and alliances at Inrange.

But Inrange continues to have to face off against two rapacious and entrenched competitors, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) and McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDTA). And adding to Inrange's heartburn is Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), which is threatening to chew out a serious chunk of the Fibre Channel switch market in the very near future (see Storage OEMs Warm Up to Cisco).

Forced to cut costs, Inrange in the last 12 months has slashed its headcount 30 percent, laying off around 350 employees total and closing several offices (see Inrange Under Fire).

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