Once an Apple-only networking vendor, Farallon Communications Corp is trying to shed its Apple-only image, and has been rapidly trying to put a cross-platform emphasis on its products. It has updated its small to medium enterprise marketed Netopia ISDN modems and IP/IPX and AppleTalk routers to support frame relay/leased line connections. The combined ISDN modem/routers were first announced in January 1996 and the update comes as a board that replaces the ISDN and CSU/DSU board with a leased line/frame relay board that takes up to 2Mbps connections. The Netopia routers are shipping through re-sellers for between $1000 and $1600, and the leased line upgrade costs $270. Farallon is aiming at Internet Service Providers as its re-sellers, as it believes ISPs sell networking equipment to small and medium sized businesses. Farallon currently has three lines of products, LAN interconnection products, and its two Netopia product ranges.
Timbuktu help desk
These include the routers and ISDN modems, and its Timbuktu remote control help desk application and internet collaboration software, the Netopia Virtual Office. Alameda, California-based Farallon has an ongoing deal with Microsoft Corp, that started in October last year (CI No 3017), with the Microsoft license of Farallon’s cross-platform screen sharing technology, a part of the Timbuktu software. This year further agreements have been made to integrate Microsoft’s NetMeeting 2.0 Internet conferencing software into the Netopia Virtual Office, and an agreement to develop NetMeeting-compatible data conferencing software for the Macintosh. The Netopia Virtual Office is software that uses an internet web site as a collaboration environment, which includes document share and screen share and messaging features available across the Internet. Farallon expects the major use to be for people in different company departments who need to collaborate across a Wide Area Network. The local network market for Farallon is in marked decline, although it has produced both Apple and personal computer PCI compatible Ethernet cards, as well as Hubs. It admits that it still does not have a presence in the personal computer market, and still has a 45% share of the Apple LAN market. Farallon floated on Nasdaq in June 1996, and in the second quarter this year showed revenue down 17% to $12.7m, and a net loss of $493,000 with a net loss per share of $0.04, attributed to the decline in sales of LAN products. The general uncertainty about Apple’s future has influenced Farallon’s Apple LAN business that makes up 50% of its revenues.