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Olicom's direct move is no threat to channel

Olicom's direct move is no threat to channel

Despite looking to establish more direct relationships with its customers, Olicom officials this week moved to assure its resellers and integrators that it is still wholly committed to the channel.

The company announced this week that it will base its new regional headquarters in Sydney. It will hire new technical support staff as well as network consultants who will be charged with helping users with network design and planning issues. Together with the hiring of additional local account managers, Olicom is now positioned to forge stronger direct relationships with customers, said the company's Asia-Pacific vice president Prem Athwal. These relationships will not be at the expense of the channel, though, he claimed.

"Although we will directly work the big end-users, we will still make the sale through resellers," Athwal said.

"This is going to allow our resellers to focus their sales efforts on real customers rather than shooting with a blindfold."

Network consultants will focus on major accounts and prospects providing free "multi-vendor and multi-technology advice". As well as being a boon to end-users, the consultants will be available to provide design services to resellers and integrators who do not have the necessary expertise in-house, Athwal said.

They will also work closely with the design experts at larger system integrators, he said.

The big investment in Olicom's new regional headquarters marks the company's ambition to be seen as more than just a token ring NIC vendor. It has had enormous recent success with its Token Ring switch products and earlier this year announced an enterprise-class ATM switch, to round out its ATM family.

"Our mission statement is to be the number one provider of enterprise networks for mission-critical environments," said Athwal.


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