The vendor's previous practice of giving rebates when stock was sold to distributors has been quoted as a main cause for 3Com's inventory problems last year. In the end, it was forced to flush out $600 million excess stock in its Q2 figures (PC Dealer, 10 December 1997).
Steve Lockie, general manager of networking at Computer 2000, said: '3Com changed the policy to rebates on sales - which helped alleviate most inventory problems.'
However, a source said: 'The rebate situation will be changed so distributors will get a percentage on stock in, instead of what is going out to the resellers.' He added: 'It actually works better for distributors to gain on sales out since it then becomes a performance-related figure. But this change-back will cause problems.'
The change to distribution policy has heightened speculation over 3Com's channel structure, which was rejigged last month, so enterprise and carrier divisions were remarried.
One distributor said: 'There is a shake-up going on and there will be reorganisation - 3Com is under a lot of pressure over its share price.' Lockie added: 'We receive rebates on sales out and it is working successfully at the moment.'
Meanwhile, in the US, 3Com has launched a global service which Vars will not be able to participate in. It helps customers assess and plan changes to their network.
3Com said most projects fail to meet their targets or deadlines, however, the scheme will include resellers at 'some time in the future'.
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