3Com can now revel in a bigger playing field opened up by Nortel's acquisition of Bay Networks, according to Ronald Sege, 3Com's senior vice president, enterprise systems. However, he admitted that in the long run, the merger could mean some serious competition.
Acquisitions are a big distraction, and in the meantime, 3Com will be diving for Bay's existing clients while it tries to sort things out with Nortel, Sege said.
Responding to comments that his organisation has been somewhat quiet in addressing the convergence of voice and data networks compared to competitors such as Lucent Technologies and Cisco Systems, Sege insisted that these views were somewhat misled.
3Com already has product offerings in this space, and will soon be coming out with a host of new products to reinforce its commitment to this market, he said.
However, the organisation will redress these views by "telling our story more frequently, offering real-life case studies to prove we have products in place, and spending more time with customers to educate them on the benefits of the converging market," he said.
3Com does not view acquisition as an "appropriate approach", and rather prefers to form partnerships, similar to its present bond with telecommunications player Siemens, Sege said.
"We intend to remain independent, but will continue to form partnerships with the relevant players," he said.
The growth of the converged telco and data networking market will be pervasive, spreading from small enterprise market to the ISPs, he said. "It's just a question of what will happen first," Sege said.
He predicted that ISPs presented the greatest opportunity for growth, followed by the small and medium enterprises because they tended to adopt new technologies more quickly and are more cost sensitive.