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Bluesocket Voices Metamorphisis With Pingtel Acquisition

Enterprise Wi-Fi vendor Bluesocket signaled a significant change in the
company's direction with the acquisition of SIP PBX vendor Pingtel for an
undisclosed sum. As the company would have you understand it, a shift of
this magnitude and direction has been in the works for some time, but it's
not unprecedented. Almost all the Wi-Fi vendors have been moving up the
stack: Cisco has a locationing appliance and announced a more vertically
focused sales strategy for its wireless networking business unit; Aruba has
shared and made some measureable progress on its FMC (fixed mobile
convergence) initiatives, and Trapeze offer a Wi-Fi location appliance.
That's not to speak of the Vo-Fi rhetoric from all the enterprise Wi-Fi
vendors, including Meru Networks.

Bluesocket CEO Mads Lillelund joined the company in April, ostensibly to
turn the company around. Bluesocket's legacy lies in Wi-Fi enterprise
gateways, primarily serving the higher education market who were early
adopters of stand-alone APs but needed a way to manage access, enforce
security, and control traffic flows. Vernier Networks was also in this
space but changed direction towards NAC several years ago, as was ReefEdge.
With the advent of wireless switch vendors such as Airespace, Aruba, and
Trapeze, alternative deployment and management mechanisms came into play
that diminished the role for enterprise gateways. More than a year ago
Bluesocket introduced its own access points, including a MIMO-enabled one.
But Bluesocket never has always been in the 'Other' row of analyst reports
and it was unlikely that would change. In the meantime, it has succeeding
in diversifying its customer base and at least one-third of their customers
are enterprises and another 10% and growing are in the healthcare space.

Bluesocket claims that their synergy as single company has already won them
deals on both Wi-Fi and PBX sides of the house, and in Q4 they plan to
announce a more formal FMC strategy with product in the first half of 2008.
With no stated plans to partner with other PBX vendors, Bluesocket's
potential FMC customer base will likely remain as narrow as the number of
customers willing to buy their Wi-Fi and/or PBX solution. It may be a case
where one plus one does not quite equal two, but that this will give te
company what it needs to remain relevant.

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