3Com Australia sacked 11 employees last week, the majority being channel-related sales and sales-support staff.
3Com managing director Gerhard Rumpff told ARN that it was "restructuring" the local operation so it could develop closer relationships with telcommunications providers. 3Com would be increasingly reliant on telcos to take it into both the SME and enterprise markets, Rumpff said.
While the majority of scalps were those that dealt with the channel, Rumpff claimed it was not an indication that 3Com was any less committed to its partners.
"We are not defocusing from the channel, we just had too many people with skills in that area and not enough in others."
Rumpff doesn't believe the partnerships it is trying to build with telecommunications vendors will be at the expense of the channel.
Rather, he describes the telcos as "market makers" who will take 3Com into new business opportunities like remote access.
The sackings were not an indication that 3Com was downsizing the local operation, Rumpff said.
"Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be bringing in new talent with different skills and in different roles."
Rumpff said that 3Com had examined reskilling existing staff, but it was decided that was not a viable alternative.
Under the restructure, 3Com will now have a single sales operation under Ray Whitfield. It previously had enterprise and volume groups, with the volume group being headed by David Higgins. "Higgins left 3Com before Christmas 'for personal reasons'," Rumpff said.