Networking giant 3Com is attempting to beef up its channel sales with the appointment of a new channel director and the launch of a programme geared to make it easier for resellers to sell Gigabit Ethernet products.
The company announced a round of job cuts last month and the departure of its UK managing director, Adrian Hurel. Last week, 3Com announced that Bob Farahar is to be its new channel director.
Formerly 3Com's eastern Europe and Middle East channel director, Farahar said that changes had to be made in certain areas to make dealing with 3Com simpler for resellers.
"There is room for improvement in the access to information and product education for our resellers and, as over 90 per cent of the products go through distributors, we want to optimise this tier," he explained.
Farahar maintained that one of his main priorities would be to get the company's Focus channel programme working more smoothly, and to win back resellers that have left 3Com.
"There may be some resellers that have lost some faith, but we will try and get them back with new products that will address the enterprise markets," he said.
As part of the Focus programme, 3Com is launching a trade-up scheme which provides resellers with a 'chequebook' of discount coupons. These give customers reductions in the cost of new 3Com Gigabit Ethernet products when they trade in old networking products, even those from other vendors.
"The new service is part of our eTools offering and is available to resellers on our Focus programme," said Farahar.
Jason Dance, managing director at reseller Starward Computers, said: "This scheme is a good way for our customers to afford new products when their budgets are being stretched."
He added that, while trade-up was not a commonly chosen option for replacing equipment, the simplicity of this scheme was likely to make it attractive, in turn leading to increased sales of 3Com equipment.
Rick Perkins, director of channel marketing for Europe, Middle East & Africa, said the company sees the Gigabit Ethernet market as a major business opportunity and has designed the programme to help drive customers to make the transition.
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