UNITED States internetworking company Hypercom has launched a range of products aimed at solving legacy network integration problems in the branch office. Paul Wallner, Hypercom's senior vice-president for network systems development, said the products were hybrid routers, as they combine several technologies, including internetwork traffic and legacy protocols as well supporting multimedia. Mr Wallner said the products had strong router functionality, but also solved existing router needs. The addition of multimedia features means that voice and video traffic can be sent over the same network. This could effectively allow low cost asynchronous transfer mode networking at the branch office level. Mr Wallner said: 'The Hypercom solution is a far more comprehensive one than a router-only solution.' He also said that combining the different media in one box would minimise the required space, an important consideration in small offices. He said that vendors should provide a complete branch networking solution. However, it is in the area of integrating systems network architecture (SNA) legacy networks into modern client server networks that Hypercom is recognised as an industry leader. SNA is the architecture designed and used by IBM for their mainframe computers, and consequently is common throughout the computing world. Unfortunately, SNA traffic is not compatible with today's client-server networks, and this clash has caused problems for many companies looking to migrate from their legacy systems to client-server based systems. Mr Wallner said the problem was reaching a peak in the US, where a lack of direction from networking vendors has left many users confused. He said a similar situation existed in Asia, although the problem is not as widespread as it is in the US. Although Hypercom established its Hong Kong office in 1980, it has been very low key in the local market. However, Mr Wallner believes the company's SNA integration expertise will help it as the company moves to increase its market share. 'Some router vendors have made good penetration into the market, but did not solve the legacy problem,' he said.that the company had been getting a positive reaction to its system from local companies. Hypercom, the world's fourth largest router vendor, also has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo.