3Com Corp has been outlining how it plans integrate the ONdemand network management system it acquired with the takeover of Chipcom Corp (CI Nos 2,716, 2,773, 2,786) with its own Transcend network management system. However, the bad news is that 3Com is working to a fairly drawn-out timescale with full integration not to take place before September for Unix-based management and before the end of the year for Windows. The news should cause smiles at rival Cabletron Systems Inc, which has been crowing about how much easier it found integrating the products and technologies from the Enterprise Networks Business Unit it acquired from Standard Microsystems Corp (CI No 2,803) than some of its rivals have done with their acquisitions. Until the full integration work is completed, 3Com’s management capabilities do look rather makeshift. The company has evolved a three-phase strategy to take it to that point, but it is only really at the final phase that any integration will take place. The first phase, shipping now, sees 3Com providing management capabilities for its own products and Chipcom’s ONcore and ONline systems through the existing version of Transcend. This provides device level management, according to 3Com, but lacks such system-level features as network-wide software distribution. For those wanting both Transcend Enterprise Manager for Unix and ONdemand NCS for Unix, 3Com is offering a price of $10,000, representing a discount of $4,500. Phase two of the strategy, available in March for Unix management and in May for Windows, adds little in the way of integration. All it does, according to 3Com, is to enable ONdemand to be launched from within Transcend, and to give the two systems a common graphical user interface, install, and on- line manual. From there, the company plans to jump to Phase three, which it hopes will provide complete, seamless integration of both application suites under the Transcend system. The decision to move towards an integration of Transcend and ONdemand – rather than abandoning the latter and expanding the capabilities of Transcend – was made because the lead time would have been delayed, as would the functionality claims Debbie Santos, 3Com’s product line manager for Transcend Enterprise Manager.
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