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10 Innovation Excellence Award 2021

Lanner USA  is a leader in the development of customized network + compute hardware solutions for a wide variety of customer applications

Lanner USA is a leader in the development of customized network + compute hardware solutions for a wide variety of customer applications

Lanner Electronics USA Inc. (Lanner USA) is a subsidiary of Lanner Electronics, a company that was formed 30 years ago with the aim of offering innovative solutions in networking technology backed by premier OEM/ODM services. And since 1996, Lanner USA has been taking this vision forward by addressing the unique requirements of the networking industry in the US, and delivering economical design, manufacturing, and customization services. Thanks to its unique ability to leverage worldwide resources to keep costs low, while at the same time working closely with regional and global brand names to deliver hardware platforms relevant to the most demanding verticals, it has been successful in establishing itself as the supplier of choice to the industry’s top networking and security OEMs.
 The company said, “Since inception, we have focused on the fast-growing network security equipment market, high-end telecom applications, cutting-edge networking technology trends, and next-generation paradigms such as IoT and Edge computing. Over two decades, we’ve become the leading hardware provider in this industry and continue to drive new platform innovations.”

In any venture, especially in the frenetic pace of the technology world, setbacks are bound to happen, and Lanner has faced its fair share of them in its journey. From macroeconomic headwinds to supply chain disruptions, from losing key customers to losing key employees, from crippling regional geopolitical uncertainties to a global pandemic, over the years the firm has had challenges that rendered its business vulnerable.

But the problem-solving mindset that the company is reputed for, goes far beyond engineering and manufacturing challenges. While such events can be all-consuming when you are in the thick of it, the organization has had a long and solid track record of overcoming these because it views setbacks as an opportunity to reset its compass and get down to the basics.

By keeping customers at the heart of the business, Lanner is in tune not only with its current requirements, but it also tries to foresee what may be coming next, for its customers and them.

Lanner offerings span 3 broad areas:

Network Compute – this includes networking equipment and appliances customized for client applications, as well as standard whitebox products that differentiate themselves based on their feature-completeness, quality and reliability.
Telecom Applications – this includes telecom datacenter appliances, cloud storage hardware, hyperscale computing options and video transport platforms.

Intelligent Edge Appliances – this includes Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT (IIoT) embedded platforms used in Edge applications, in-vehicle compute and gateways, and ruggedized appliances for specific industry verticals.

In every one of these areas, Lanner’s hallmark remains its efficient manufacturing backed by in-house design and industry-standard certifications. The firm’s hardware platform offerings  are also complemented by a full suite of bootloader, firmware, software, and security options, as well as an array of tightly integrated solutions from hardware and software partners.

Lanner’s focus on technological integration, quality and reliability has stood it in good stead through the decades of its existence. Industry excellence can only result if you mix-in audacious imagination, with efficient and cost-effective implementation. Never losing sight of its customer-centric core while delivering this, has ensured that Lanner sets the bar for the industry in product excellence.

Being the best hardware platform option for customers is no accident. One could argue that the richness in technology features, which Lanner does have, is what makes it the best. Or perhaps the efficiency of its design and manufacturing processes, which again is a fact. And the rock-solid reliability of the final products doesn’t hurt either. But Lanner’s unrelenting focus on its customers coupled with a deep-seated emphasis on internal innovative R&D mindset is what eventually leads to these great products.

To Lanner, innovation does not mean just a “new” or “disruptive” idea, but something that allows it to take a challenge that a customer is facing, and through its hardware, solve or address it for them. The firm’s motto for its customers has always been: “Your Vision. Our Hardware. Win-win!” So, innovation is when Lanner is helping a customer bring their offering to the market by providing the perfect hardware platform for them to base it on. It is usually “new”. It is frequently “disruptive”. But it is always the perfect vehicle for them to bring their offerings to the world.

As a hardware platform provider, Lanner has tight-knit partnerships with the key chip technology suppliers that provide the chips that power its hardware platforms. Further, their tightly integrated hardware/software solution relies on strategic partnerships with software vendors that integrate with hardware resources and provide applications or solution building blocks to its mutual customers. And last, but not the least, Lanner’s distribution and service partners ensure that the customer experience does not end with a sale but carries on through the lifetime of its products.

Lanner’s vision of the future

Networking technology is an exciting and fast-paced field to be in. The one silver lining of the pandemic is that it has accelerated some of the digital transformation that was already underway, which bodes well for the network equipment space which the company and its customers serve. Lanner USA believes that one of its recent innovations, “whitebox solutions” is the future of disaggregated network design via which telecom operators can build standardized equipment building blocks on standards-based hardware from different vendors. Launched earlier this year, Lanner USA plans to expand this line going forward, alongside (and drawing upon its expertise in) its core customized hardware platforms.

Q.  How is Lanner USA coping with the pandemic? (In their own words)

Our first priority during the pandemic was the safety of our employees, partners and customers. To that

end, the lockdowns and sudden shift to remote work, rotating factory shifts etc. did disrupt our operations briefly. However, once things were streamlined, we were able to make up for it with increased productivity and ensure that the overall impact was minimal. Given the large demands placed on enterprise and networking infrastructure due to widespread remote work and WFH policies, there was a positive impact on the business overall, though again, tempered somewhat by supply chain shortages. Overall, it was a trying experience on a human level, but we feel we have navigated the pandemic delicately, supporting most customer requirements, while also keeping our teams safe. All that said, we will be happy when the pandemic is behind us – hopefully, soon.

Meet the man of the hour

The leader at the helm of Lanner Electronics USA Inc. is Terence Chou, General Manager, Lanner USA. He is a well-recognized stalwart of the networking industry and a long-time Lanner veteran, having worked at Lanner Headquarters in Taipei and different Lanner business units in various technology, business, and operational roles. With the breadth and depth of his experience, under his stewardship of Lanner USA since 2016, the company has embarked on a growth path, making inroads into new networking technology areas while upholding its core competencies of quality, efficiency, and innovation. Mr. Chou believes that the commitment and the trust it has earned from its customers through years of its investment in their success are the key elements of Lanner’s differentiation and how it stays ahead of its competitors in the industry.

“For us, as a company, failure is only a matter of perspective, and it is not long before our grit to cross the finish line lifts us over the hurdles we are facing. In fact, it would not be unreasonable to say that behind every one of our successes, there is some crisis that we have overcome behind the scenes, so that attitude gives us the resilience to tackle any setbacks.”

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