After abandoning the corporate switching sector two years ago by dropping its CoreBuilder product, 3Com is looking to re-enter the sector with a new range of Lan core switches.
The firm withdrew CoreBuilder to focus on its strongest markets at the time: Lan telephony, network interface cards (NICs) and small-business networking.
The move left its channel partners scrambling to protect business worth millions of pounds. Many lost out as customers cancelled orders.
However, the firm is again looking to sign up corporate resellers for its Switch 4050 product. 3Com said its Expandable Resilient Networking technology will offer corporate customers pay-as-you-go networking, reducing the need to risk high-cost one-off upgrades.
Paul Malcolm, managing director of 3Com UK, said the company is looking at areas it can grow. "We have aggressive expansion plans and we are looking at where to deploy our resources," he said. "We want to sign resellers that can take us into the corporate sector."
Keith Humphreys, analyst at EuroLAN research, was sceptical about the channel's response. "3Com never really left the corporate market, but after dropping CoreBuilder it will find it difficult to succeed with its new switching products," he said.
"Resellers will struggle to convince corporate customers to buy the vendor's products after being burned in the past. Customers have long memories," he added.
However, one VAR was keen to embrace the technology. Andrew Brimson, technical director at Data Integration, said: "We were disappointed when 3Com withdrew, but it allowed us to look at other 3Com products.
"There are always openings for firms like 3Com. It is an open market and its products are well respected by customers. I for one am pleased to see them coming back into the market, and would definitely take a look at their latest product."
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