Acknowledging that its patchy presence in the past has led to some uncertainty regarding 3Com’s commitment to the New Zealand market, the networking vendor plans to reignite its operation here.
Recently appointed Australia and New Zealand country manager Grant Howe says 3Com has gone through some substantial changes over the past 10 years, which did not do the brand any favours.
“There have been a few people in my chair, which created some uncertainty about 3Com in the Australia and New Zealand market. But we’ve now got a new strategy for how we go to market.”
A New Zealander, Howe joined 3Com in March and was previously Avaya’s South Pacific channel director for eight years, which means he understands the local reseller market. “Being a Kiwi I understand this market better,” Howe says.
He acknowledges that 3Com has experienced some issues with its presence in New Zealand in the past. “But we are still here – perhaps not on the same scale as it used to be. We have resources dedicated to the New Zealand market. We will endeavour to bring in additional resources to deliver more demand generation and support for the channel.”
Although a decision about whether or not 3Com will have any people on the ground in the country again is still being made, Howe says 3Com is keen to invest in the Australian and New Zealand market to drive revenues.
“A/NZ is the largest market for networking in Asia Pacific, excluding Japan and China, according to IDC. If 3Com is going to be successful in this region, it has to invest here. We have to invest to see a return.”
Asia Pacific is responsible for more than 50 percent of the company’s revenues, Howe adds.
However, locally the brand is not considered as viable in sales opportunities and Howe aims to increase awareness of 3Com’s offerings. “This awareness has dwindled as our visibility has waned. I want to get the exposure back. Across the board, the brand has 30 to 40 percent less exposure [than competitors]. Many people are not aware there is an alternative out there,” says Howe.
Opportunities from the H3C range of IP-based products 3Com acquired last year will help drive local growth for the company, especially around new technologies such as IP-security and IPTV, says Howe.
In addition, Howe plans to highlight how competitively priced 3Com and H3C gear is, saying it is often 30 to 40 percent less expensive than rival offerings. “We are leveraging hi-tech, low-cost manufacturing in China. Our technology performs exceptionally well and offers good value for money.”
Renaissance Brands, which is the exclusive local distributor for the H3C line, has expanded its team focused on working with the range, says networking and security brand manager Kevin Swainson. “We have taken on another person in the group to help identify opportunities and help in the sales process.”
The company has an opportunity to help grow the channel base for H3C among a different set of partners than 3Com branded products, which are distributed by Ingram Micro, says Swainson. “H3C has a different focus area and we work with different styles of partners.”