U.S. Robotics Debuts Gigabit Switches For SMBs

At Supercomm, U.S. Robotics is showcasing a plethora of new products aimed at small and midsize businesses.

June 23, 2004

2 Min Read
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U.S. Robotics is capitalizing on its home-field advantage at this year's Supercomm show to showcase a plethora of new products aimed at small and midsize businesses.

The Schaumburg, Ill.-based company--located just a stone's throw from Chicago, the site of Supercomm--introduced eight-port and 24-port Gigabit-speed Ethernet switches, as well as a 32-bit PCI network interface card (NIC), for the SMB space, said Tom Pryzgoda, director of global marketing at U.S. Robotics.

Geared toward applications such as graphics, multimedia and audio, the switches offer 10/100/1000 switching ports that automatically sense half- or full-duplex connections for high-speed server or switch-to-switch connections, according to U.S. Robotics. Slated to be available in the third quarter, the switches will be priced at $129 for the eight-port model and $399 for the 24-port unit, while the NIC will cost $24.95.

U.S. Robotics also unveiled an upgrade to its VPN firewall, the USR8200, with USB 2.0 and FireWire storage drives, as well as print server capability and content management control. The new functionality allows the device to act as more than a just a firewall, Pryzgoda said.

"We partnered with SurfControl to add content management capabilities, so now the firewall can act as a hub for small businesses," he said. "So now, along with the content management, you've also got a router, a print server and support for NAS, all for less than $500."The print server and SurfControl content management software are available at no charge via a firmware upgrade. Products with the new features are slated to start shipping in the third quarter at prices ranging from $249 to $449. U.S. Robotics also unveiled a USB print server and a line of 802.11g 2.4 GHz antennae at Supercomm.

Pryzgoda said U.S. Robotics relies heavily on partners' input when developing new products. The vendor derives about 50 percent of its overall sales through the reseller channel and about 75 percent of its wired, wireless and security product sales through the channel, he said.

"Many of our products are the result of meetings with our reseller partners about what they want," Pryzgoda said. "Most of our resellers are focused on the small-business market, and they tell us what their customers are looking for."

Although Supercomm marks the last large product release for U.S. Robotics this year, the company is working on improving current products, including increasing the speed of its wireless devices and upgrading its wireless storage servers, Pryzgoda said.

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