Firewalls started to become a commodity many years ago. One of the US-based companies that saw this trend early is one of Lanner’s customers today. It has taken 8 years, but today they are considered a leading company in universal threat management and next generation firewalls. Together with Lanner they’ve designed three generations of network security product lines and climbed up to their leadership position fueled by their advantages in both cost and technology.
As most companies in the network security industry, the company was facing increasing costs and were looking to reduce some of its operating expenses by outsourcing the hardware design. It was also becoming pressing to bring products faster to the market.
The product development team at the company found Lanner at a tradeshow and realized that one of the hardware designs displayed in the Lanner booth was ideal for one of their planned products. A contract was signed to use Lanner hardware for their new product, and the results were so great that for the second generation of products, Lanner was used for several models.
Fast forward eight years, and the customer is now working closely with Lanner on the 3rd generation of products. Having worked with Lanner for such a long time there have been many products on both x86 and RISC platforms. And the products have ranged from basic firewalls for small businesses to next generation firewalls for enterprises.
The key benefit has been reduced costs by being able to use Lanner’s hardware design. The customer has been able to cut down over 95% of staff in hardware design, and now co-design new hardware with Lanner. This often means creating hardware platforms that can be shipped with different software solutions and therefore become 4~5 different SKUs. Through the co-designing process, the customer is able to minimize the number of different hardware models required to reach the SKUs that the market needs.
During the product development process the customer can get access to multiple chipsets and processor technologies and can do testing on all of these to compare results and find the optimum hardware for their platform. Since Lanner is an Associate Member in the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance the customer gets early access to Intel chipsets and can test before chipsets launch. When Intel officially launches a new technology, Lanner customers can launch a product based on this technology on the same day.
In Lanner’s factory the customer has a custom setup that can carry out extensive testing. This testing includes not only of hardware, but also software. In a completely automated process, test results go directly from the testing line to the customer. With all tests stored and linked to unique product identity numbers, the customer can review earlier test results if a product fails.
As the relationship between Lanner and the customer developed over the years, the customer eventually reduced their hardware design staff with over 95%. And by doing this contributing to create a cost advantage that has made the customer extremely competitive. New product generations are co-designed, with rights to the design belonging to both the customer and Lanner. This has reduced the hardware design costs even further.
Today, products leave the Lanner warehouse 100% ready to be shipped directly to the end customer. In the future, Lanner may do order fulfillment for this customer, just like we do for so many other customers.