New 3Com Canada chief plans enterprise push

The new head of 3Com Canada says he will build upon the company’s strategy of expanding into large enterprise markets with new partnerships.

“”We’re going to continue what we’ve been doing well,”” country manager Bruce Comeau said

in an interview Wednesday after his appointment was officially announced.

“”My 30- to 60-day strategy is to get the message out to our key partners and resellers, go out and see customers, move forward on the plan to drive growth through selling and differentiating on our voice and security offerings and maintain and growing market share from our competitors.””

That includes encouraging customers to take advantage of its new VCX IP telephony products. “”We’re going to seek out and engage in partnerships here with key service providers to move that technology into the enterprise marketplace.””

Comeau, 38, a seven-year veteran of the company, replaces Nick Tidd, who was named worldwide director of go-to-market strategies earlier this year.

Dan McLean, director of enterprise network services research at IDC Canada, noted that the appointment comes after 3Com Canada sharply reduced head count here over a year ago. To him the division seemed to become managed from the U.S. head office.

“”With this move they’re trying to carve out a space in Canada as a separate operation,”” he said.

Comeau’s appointment was made Dec. 1 but only publicly announced Wednesday. The move comes as 3Com Corp., whose products recently were aimed at small and medium businesses, begins to push into large enterprise accounts with products and new partnerships.

In November 3Com announced a deal to sell and support security services switches made by Crossbeam Systems of Concord, Mass. to enterprise customers under the 3Com brand name.

Last week it announced a deal with Electronic Data Systems (EDS) to sell 3Com switches, routers and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) enterprise networking products in its solutions in the U.S. and England.

That will be extended to Canada “”in the next couple of months,”” said Comeau.

3Com Canada will also roll out hardware developed with its manufacturing partner in China, Huawei Technologies Co., he said, which will offer resellers additional margin as well as alternative products.

“”Customers are looking for alternatives,”” he said, and suggested price will be a key differentiator. Cost is “”the theme typically behind our Huawei venture.””


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