Distributor warms up to VoIP

Acting on voice-over-IP market growth indicators 3Com has signed Tech Data as a distributor for its NBX solution, the company announced Monday.

The agreement means the Mississauga,

Ont.-based company can now pursue new resellers for 3Com’s NBX networked telephony product line.

The deal was partially born out of Tech Data’s success in the U.S. with the NBX line, which they’ve been offering since January of this year, says Tech Data Canada product marketing manager Ray Gonsalves.

Gonsalves also says that the significant market share 3Com has been able to maintain in the voice-over-IP market made them an attractive Canadian partner for the distributor who has previously restricting its presence in this market space to offering Cisco solutions.

“”3Com’s numbers say that they’re growing in this segment 20 per cent quarter after quarter, which is pretty impressive in the current economic situation,”” Gonsalves says.

3Com has been able to gather some momentum in the Canadian market, says 3Com Canada’s managing director Nick Tidd, and the company now has rolled out NBX systems in every major vertical market in Canada.

“”A lot of our customer reference sites that we’ve published and work with have come out of Western Canada,”” Tidd says. “”The dynamic of IP telephony lends itself very nicely to multi-branch type locations and a number of customers that we deal with in Western Canada fit that category.””

3Com has also had success in education, transportation, legal and the pharmaceutical space in Ontario and in the Atlantic provinces in the retail and manufacturing verticals, Tidd says.

3Com has been taking advantage of generally growing market, says Ronald Gruia, enterprise communication program leader for Frost & Sullivan, but its been able to stand up against such traditionally strong market players as Nortel because of a focused effort to target the small and medium enterprise market.

The company’s recent significant strides in improving their overall scalability is a definite a step in the right direction when targeting small and medium businesses, Gruia says.

“”The other really positive thing is that they’ve recently partnered with Citel which is good because it gives a good value proposition for sites that have the old Norstar key system from Nortel. They could basically upgrade to an NBX without having to invest in new telephone sets,”” he says. “”And that’s a very good value proposition for cost-conscious enterprises.””

Partnership was a result of a four-month evaluation process and is part of 3Com’s general strategy to expand its presence in the networked telephony market, a space in which the company sees a lot of potential for future growth says Tidd.

“”People are now starting to understand that there’s stability in the marketplace, that we’re past the early adopter stage,”” Tidd says. “” We’re receiving signals that our collective end users are starting to begin deployments of networked telephony in the mainstream, and we’re past the evangelical stage of IP. We’re starting to see market acceptance.””

That being said the two companies are focusing on ensuring any new resellers are sufficiently trained to take on the 3Com system and that aggressive expansion does not hurt 3Com’s existing partner relationships.

“”It’s going to have to be a complimentary strategy,”” Tidd says.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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