Having grown to a position of strength in the North American market, workgroup networking hardware vendor Network Peripherals (NPI) has entered into its next phase of growth by setting up operations in Australia.
NPI markets a wide range of high speed workgroup solutions, including high performance FDDI and Fast Ethernet products, designed to provide the best possible price.
NPI president and CEO Pauline Lo Alker says NPI's experience in the workgroup market in the US makes a strong argument for its product set. "We've been in the workgroup business for the last seven years, we understand what workgroup networking means. And we have the right set of technologies. We know that because we understand our end users. We understand exactly what they need, how to sell to them, how to reach them, how to support them. We design products for them, not for us.
"Our charter is to provide high performance integrated workgroups solutions, particularly targeted to service the small- to medium-size companies, as well as the departmental workgroups of large enterprises. Our solutions are designed to relieve the congestion and the bottlenecks that are currently occurring at 10Mbit/sec Ethernet connections. And this is the way we started our company, to provide solutions in a very non-invasive way to boost existing network performance, without asking users to take away everything that they have invested in the past."
The new Australian operation is to be serviced by distributor Lan 1, which will be charged with growing the business locally and supporting members of NPI's OpenVAR Business Partner Program. OpenVAR resellers receive access to NPI sales tools, marketing collateral and sales incentives programs, and are the only resellers able to sell NPI products.
Lo Alker said that as NPI has never sold directly to end users, partners can feel secure in their arrangements with the vendor. "Why should you become a reselling partner of ours? Because you will never find us competing with you. We throw all of our marketing and sales support behind this effort."
She said that as the technology in the products is owned by NPI, not OEMed, prices can be kept low, and hence margins kept high, with authorised OpenVAR members receiving a profit margin of 37.5 per cent on cost. Also, many of the products have been OEMed by other networking vendors, including Sun, UB Networks, Network General and Cabletron.
Last year NPI acquired switching company NuCom, resulting in the recent release of NPI's NuSwitch family of Fast Ethernet products, designed to meet the needs of business from the backbone to the desktop.
Overall, NPI plans for the Australian operation to represent 10 per cent of Asian revenue by 1997. Create business partners who have to meet a certain quota but will receive profits.