Fluke expands Canadian presence

Fluke Networks is showing a very deliberate interest in Canada.

On Tuesday, the network monitoring and analysis company announced a distribution agreement with Tech Data Canada that introduces two of Fluke’s network diagnostic products to the Canadian market.

The news came just 24 hours after Fluke increased the size of its Canadian head office by four employees, adding three new technical sales representatives and one technical support person.

David Green, director of marketing for Fluke Networks Canada, said Fluke’s increasing Canadian presence is due to demand here for the company’s support and products.

“Many of the companies in the technology sector aren’t growing, (but) our products are used across a large range of industries,” Green said, adding that the company is focused on all regions of Canada. “And (many of) those industries are continuing to grow. Even a Nortel today continues to buy product because you still need to make stuff and test it.”

Fluke currently supplies Canadian governments, educational institutions, financial services organizations and manufacturing companies with support for their networks as well as the copper and fibre cabling that make up the network backbones. That support includes diagnostic tools like those being distributed by Tech Data Canada.

The NetTool connectivity tester and the LAN (local area network) Mapshot diagramming software are being distributed through Tech Data. The former tests network connectivity and configuration, allowing a technician to accomplish in minutes what previously took up to an hour, said Ted Kalas, Fluke Canada’s national channel manager.

The LAN Mapshot is a windows-based application designed to provide a diagram of switched Ethernet networks with the click of a mouse. Kalas said the LAN Mapshot, which works with Microsoft Visio to draw the diagram, makes the planning and upgrading of a network more efficient.

“If you don’t know what you’ve got, it’s hard when you’re planning to know where you’re going to go,” Kalas said.

“It’s amazing how many people don’t know what their network looks like,” Green added.

Oliver Voss, product marketing manager for Tech Data Canada’s Xalax enterprise networking and storage division, said products like the LAN Mapshot and the NetTool are becoming increasingly important.

“Networks are becoming more complex as you add wireless, VPNs,” Voss said. “You need to really understand the complexity.”

Tech Data recently urged its Xalax unit towards enabling resellers to take greater advantage of networking opportunities. Voss said the agreement with Fluke allows Tech Data to provide its resellers with more comprehensive networking solutions, and affords those resellers a pair of new opportunities.

“One is for (resellers) to be the trusted advisor to the end user, to test the network,” he said. “It’s also a resale tool to customers that have their own IT departments.”

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