Bluesocket Voices Metamorphisis With Pingtel Acquisition

The purchase of VoIP vendor Pingtel could give Bluesocket what it needs to remain relevant.

August 13, 2007

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

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

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

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