3Com & Tech Data discuss SME deal

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By  Published  December 8, 2006

Networking vendor 3Com is in talks with Tech Access to distribute its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) prod- ucts across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

According to reports, the pair could even reach an agreement before the end of the year, giving the vendor additional sales coverage alongside existing partners such as Aptec and Online Distribution.

The deal would also fill the gap in its distribution line-up left by Tech Data, which split from 3Com in mid-August.

According to a spokesperson at Tech Access, the company is hoping to be awarded distribution rights to a raft of 3Com products, such as routers and its 4000 and 8000 switches series.

If the deal goes ahead, 3Com would become the first major networking vendor to join Tech Access’ portfolio. Its current offering is mainly based on solutions from Sun Microsystems and vendors such as Business Objects, Symantec and NetApp.

“We’re very strong in enterprise and already have some notable vendors in our collection, but we have been looking for a networking vendor to complete the portfolio,” a spokesman said. “3Com has a great product offering and provides good value to the channel.”

He also claimed Tech Access would be able to offer 3Com more of a value approach to distribution than some of the other wholesalers that the vendor uses and give it access to its recently-launched Technology Centre, where customers can view product demonstrations.

Amanulla Khan, regional channel manager at 3Com, confirmed last month that discussions have taken place with Tech Access, but firmly stressed that contracts had not changed hands. He said he expected the matter to reach a conclusion within “four to six weeks”.

Appointing Tech Access to replace Tech Data would certainly make sense for 3Com given Khan’s previous comments about the decision to stop working with the broadliner.

He said at the time of the split: “For any distributor working with 3Com it is important that they find the right balance between the small and medium-sized business (SMB) and enterprise business. The problem we had with Tech Data is that they were very strong on the SMB side but did not have sufficient resources in the enterprise space,” he went on to add.

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