The SME sector is fuelling the growth of networking products in Europe's top three economies, according to new research from channel analyst Context.
In the second quarter of 2004 reseller sales of networking products - including hubs, switches and routers - in the UK, France and Germany were up by eight per cent on Q1.
According to Context, growth was strongest in the SME sector, with VARs seeing an 8.6 per cent rise. Corporate sales declined by 4.2 per cent.
3Com saw the largest growth, with a rise of 20.1 per cent. Other firms to see increases included Cisco, with sales up three per cent, D-Link, up 14.4 per cent, Netgear, up four per cent, and Hewlett-Packard, up 1.7 per cent.
Jeremy Davies, senior partner at Context, said: "Vendors with a channel SME focus are doing better than those that don't have one. Smaller firms are now investing in networking equipment to maintain the competitiveness of their businesses."
Steve Jennings, director at VAR Think-Secure, said: "There is an awareness among vendors that they need to focus on SMEs. And the government's e-business targets mean SMEs are recognising the need to get online."
Eddy Alejos, technical director at system integrator Dynax Systems, added: "SMEs are taking advantage of lower prices. Bigger companies take advantage of high-end features, but once products become cheaper, smaller firms want to use them too."
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