What is the reason for your Australian visit?
Bobby Guhasarkar (BG): We announced a datacentre solution to the press and analysts and have been talking about it with our sales force and channel for a couple of months now. Essentially, it is a new way to architect the datacentre network that reduces the number of devices and ultimately saves money, especially in light of everyone wanting to save money these days.
How do you take solutions, which are developed on a global basis, into a market like Australia, which is in a stronger position than other economies at present?
BG: If you look at our revenue, it is roughly 25 per cent in Asia-Pacific, which includes Japan and Australia. There is about 35 per cent in Europe and the balance in the US. That’s from a geographic perspective. From a segment perspective, we are about 70 per cent in the carrier space, 30 per cent in the enterprise space. So our focus has been to expand on the enterprise space over the last couple of years. We introduced Ethernet switching at the beginning of this year and that has allowed us to have a wider and deeper conversation with folks. If you look at Australia specifically, you have had a lot of success with Ethernet switching and that has allowed us to expand our set of partners.
What is different here than in other places? We probably drive more of our communication through channel partners here than we do in the US, for example. The reason for that is we have less direct sales force over here and the channel partners over here have better account control and better relationships.
People here aren’t necessarily worried about the economy; they are worried about what might happen to the economy. Whereas in the US, people are dead scared and are not spending at all. We talked to a couple of [Australian] partners that have closed over $1 million projects for our Ethernet switches – it is a fantastic result and we are really happy about that.
When you have the presence of fear in the US and to a similar extent in Europe, does it make you focus on the strong geographical areas of the global market?
BG: To an extent, because the decision is always based on what is the addressable market. In the US, the addressable market for the datacentre was huge. So even if there is a fear factor, there are lots of projects that have already been budgeted and the datacentre is the last area for the budget to be cut as it is the most important asset for the company.
In Australia, for example, the number of sales folks we have hired in these past 12 months has increased dramatically and we have tried to get people that are experienced in the networking side; people that have worked at Cisco, Nortel, which helps us to go in and have much richer conversations with customers.