3Com tends partner roots at show

3Com has changed tack at this year’s Gitex, moving away from having its own stand in the networking section and instead focusing on partner-driven efforts, especially with Aptec.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  September 26, 2005

3Com has changed tack at this year’s Gitex, moving away from having its own stand in the networking section and instead focusing on partner-driven efforts, especially with Aptec. “Our restructure has brought benefits, for example, we have recorded three times more sales than at the same stage last year,” says Wael Fakharany, regional manager, 3Com Middle East. Fakharany says 3Com has had its best quarter for five years, with a ramp up in high-end enterprise business, with 10Gigabit installations won throughout the region. The vendor has also just signed up Redington as a Saudi distributor and expects the company’s strength in terms of people and facilities to boost 3Com’s fortunes in the Kingdom. At the Aptec stand, 3Com is expounding on its trinity of focus areas — wireless, security and IP telephony. The vendor has identified these areas are its key growth points and has shipped in experts from across Europe to help get its message across. Manish Bhatt, business development manager for 3Com wireless EMEA will demo the range of wireless products that 3Com offers as well as giving a presentation on wireless issues. The focus on wireless is strong says 3Com, as there is still a long way to go in the region to catch up with other parts of EMEA. “We also have Dabor Szabo, our marketing manager for security EMEA and he is a hands-on guy and will be demonstrating how hackers can hijack wireless connections,” says Khalid Khan, marketing manager at 3Com. “This will give insight to users and heighten awareness of the security issues inherent in wireless technology,” he adds. 3Com will display the 5500 switch at the Aptec stand, but has decided not to show its more high-end enterprise products such as the 8800 switch, as it is too big and complex to be demonstrated in a meaningful way. “We are focused on enterprise customers though, as well as SMB, at the show and don’t feel that being in the consumer-focused hall 4 will impact that negatively. People who visit Aptec’s stand will expect to see enterprise products,” says Khan. Khan has also used a number of initiatives to attract enterprises, government and telco people to hall 4, including flyers, merchandising and e-mail blasts. 3Com decided not to go for its own stand at this year’s show because of the rapid changes that the vendor has gone through regionally. Its headcount has grown by three times in the last year and business momentum has increased. 3Com decided to take a bolder approach to marketing and this meant cutting back its Gitex commitment and using resources in other ways, such as in newspaper campaigns. “We are trying to think out of the box rather than following the crowd. This should not suggest we are dissatisfied with Gitex, it is a great forum and we are looking to achieve a lot at the show. We have less space this year but we want to create more business and with our presence at Gitex Shopper, our go to market campaign and partnership with Aptec, we are achieving this,” concludes Khan.

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