Cabletron offers feds trade-in special

Taking advantage of the new flexibility of the General Services Administration's multiple-award schedule (MAS) program, Cabletron Systems Inc. has begun allowing schedule customers to trade in old Cabletron gear for credit against purchases of new equipment.

Marsha Holland, director of business development at Cabletron's federal office in Herndon, Va., said many of her company's customers are making the transition to switched networks and can use the "trade-up" vehicle to buy any Cabletron switching product at a reduced rate. Customers who require maintenance will get additional credit, she said.

Part of a Trend

Holland said Cabletron officials identified the trend toward switching and decided to take advantage of the pricing flexibility available in the MAS program to exploit that trend. She said Cabletron sent letters last week to federal customers informing them of the trade-up option.

"This is our first venture into this area," she said. "We think customers should be able to receive some credit for their legacy equipment. But until now, our hands were tied because we didn't have a contract vehicle that allowed this kind of flexibility."

The trade-up option will be available on 70 B/C schedule contracts held by I-NET Inc., Electronic Data Systems Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp. On Schedule 58, which covers telecommunications equipment, the option will be available through a contract held by General Analytics Corp.

Holland said she instructed her sales staff to survey the company's installed base in the federal government and construct a list of equipment that users may trade in for credit. She added that customers who want to trade in Cabletron equipment not on the list may still take advantage of the offer by calling the company at (603) 332-9400.

Skip Yale, a business development representative at Cabletron, said the list consists mostly of shared-access products that many customers have been anxious to abandon. "It's a pretty wide-open list," Yale said. "Where government users are screaming for bandwidth, we are prepared to take their shared-access Ethernet equipment and allow them to go to switching technology."

But he added that the company will accept just about any Cabletron product, regardless of condition, and will offer credit toward the purchase of any other product. He said credit levels will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

"We aren't limiting it," Yale said. "We want them to call us and say, 'This is the equipment I have, and this is the equipment I need.' Then we will work with the schedule holder to figure out the amount of credit."

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