A week after finalising its acquisition of Chipcom Corp (CI No 2,773), Santa Clara, California-based 3Com Corp has unveiled its blueprint for integrating the two companies. 3Com will converge Chipcom’s Cornerstone Network Architecture blueprint for migrating users to Asynchronous Transfer Mode with its own High Performance Network Architecture. Cornerstone will also be the basis for 3Com’s Virtual Networking strategy. Full details of the unified architecture will be announced within 60 days. In terms of product synergies, 3Com said its single-primary function chassis offerings, the NETBuilder II, LANplex and CELLplex, will complement the multi-function capabilities of Chipcom’s ONcore range. According to 3Com, the insertion of Chipcom’s integrated chassis offering plugs a gap in its range, something users have been asking for and was a key reason for the takeover. The combined 3Com-Chipcom range will be managed through a combination of the 3Com Transcend and Chipcom ONdemand network management applications. Again, 3Com will unveil details of the bundling, integration and enhanced functions of these offerings, as well as value-added applications for the enterprise, within 60 days. Broadly speaking, however, phase one will involve basic interoperability and packaging, with phase two – next March – involving key integration points, such as a common graphical user interface to launch ONcore or Transcend applications. Phase three – full, indistinguishable integration of the two – is expected in the second half of 1996.
3Com has also confirmed that the existing IBM Corp/Chipcom relationship (CI No 2,599) will continue and expand. IBM and 3Com will jointly develop and support the 8238, 8250 and 8260 hubs, and IBM will continue to incorporate its Asynchronous Transfer technology into the 8260 and 3Com’s ONcore hubs. In addition, to enable users to move to switched local area networks, IBM and 3Com will co-operate in developing 3Com’s High Performance Network Architecture and IBM’s Switched Virtual Networking to enable desktop machines to define their participation in virtual local area networks automatically. The two will also explore areas of co-operation such as standards for Token Ring interoperability. Organisationally, Chipcom’s product development, marketing and administration has become the Integrated Systems Division of 3Com’s Network Systems Operations. It will be headed by 3Com vice-president and general manager Ron Sege, who previously headed 3Com’s hub business. Meantime, Chipcom’s sales force has been merged into 3Com’s worldwide sales organisation, although Chipcom customers will continue to work with the same sales personnel as before. Customer support from both organisations has also been amalgamated. The firms’ channel programmes are merging into the 3Com Networking Partners Programme, with the majority of Chipcom’s resellers becoming 3Com Advanced Solutions Partners. No reduction in channels is seen.