In a bid to erase memories of its patchy local presence in the last few years, 3Com is trying to entice resellers back with an updated partner programme.
Launched in 2006, the Focus programme now features SME solutions, retail specialisation and LAN specialisation. Partners are rewarded with rebates if they specialise in one of these areas.
The US-based networking vendor's local operation has been in disarray since 2001, when it cut back local staff to one. Following this move its local operation has been patchy at best.
In 2005 it appointed Richard Harri as country manager; however he held the post for only around four months before joining Synnex.
While Harri was replaced the following year with business development manager Shelley Perrett, 3Com’s local registered office was dissolved in September 2006, according to Companies Office records.
It has since been represented locally by Ingram Micro, while Renaissance Brands was appointed as a second distributor last July following 3Com’s acquisition of H3C.
Australia and New Zealand channel manager Steele Gersbach says 3Com is a completely different company now. He assured resellers assembled at a launch in Auckland that the company is committed to the local channel and mistakes of the past would not be repeated.
“The Focus partner programme is a way of saying that we’re here to stay and 3Com wants resellers to benefit.”
Gersbach says he is aware there is still some reluctance from the channel to work with 3Com.
“Some resellers felt abandoned and frustrated [after the closure]. There was a perception that 3Com had pulled out of the New Zealand market, so that’s why we’re working with Renissance Brands to regrow the brand.”
The Focus programme offers resellers access to 3Com technology plus other advantages, says Gersbach.
“This programme rewards partners on competencies and commitment, not just revenue performance.”
Resellers can become either a gold, silver, bronze or registered partner.
Renaissance Brands general manager Mark Dasent says the company is working to improve local representation of 3Com and add value in different areas such as the education market.
Dasent says Renaissance is running a ‘Go for Gold’ partner programme with 3Com throughout April, May and June.
The reseller that converts the most customers to 3Com and its IP networking storage subsidiary H3C wins flights to Beijing. There is a silver prize of a South Pacific flight and a bronze prize of a New Zealand mystery-weekend break.