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Netgear's Lo: High Hopes

As CEO of Netgear, Patrick Lo has been a major force driving enterprise-class networking technologies into the SMB space. Netgear carries a wide portfolio of networking technologies and plans to unveil at least one new product a week for the rest of the year. David Soares was recently named vice president of worldwide sales, and will take on many of the duties held by recently departed president Ray Robidoux. Michael Werdann, vice president of North America Sales and Doug Thiele, director of channel sales, will both report to Soares. In an interview with CRN Editor in Chief Michael Vizard, Lo discussed trends and competition in the networking market.

CRN: In terms of the SMB networking space, what technology do you think is an emerging opportunity for solution providers?

PL: We believe that this year is the year for the switch over to gigabit to the desktop. The old concept was that 100 Mbyte is cheap and that Gbyte is very expensive and that the applications don't need it. Today there is a lot of up sell possibility for VARs that go to their customers and see how big a file each PowerPoint presentation has become. Look at the graphics that you're generating and then how cheap the Gbyte is. The new PCs that people are buying are equipped with a Gbyte interface and the new price point for Gbyte ranges from as low as $100 for a five port to less than $500 for a 16 port. I think that all this will help VARs shift the average selling price to a higher point.

CRN: How many new products will you bring to market this year?

PL: It's public knowledge that we try to introduce 12 new products a quarter. That means we try to get it in one a week. So there are 52 weeks in the year, so we will try to go for 52 new products in the year. We've introduced so far 24 in the first half, so we expect to introduce 28 in the second half. Those products will all revolve around a small-business environment basis. For example, we'll have a more secure and easier to use wireless LAN, more secure firewall with additional capabilities such as intrusion detection, antispam, antivirus policy enforcement, and Gbyte switches.

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