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Humming along nicely

Humming along nicely

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Canadian PC/Unix integration experts Hummingbird Communications is seeking to increase its presence in the Australian marketplace with the expansion of its recently opened Sydney office.

According to Alexander Cheng, sales manager for the Asia Pacific region, this means adding further sales and technical support staff to the office of Australian country manager, Boon Lim.

While Hummingbird already works through two distributors, i.t.connXions and Digital Networks Australia, Cheng says the role of the local office is to provide sales and marketing support to the channels. "The staff will be there to help the channel to close deals, to maintain a proper presence in the marketplace and to help them with various marketing activities," he said. "And one of the major charters is to increase awareness in the marketplace by the press or through our regular marketing activities.

"We deal 100 per cent through channels, so we have distributors and resellers in the country who do first line support. Second line or issues that are non-resolved are referred to us," said Cheng.

The cost to become a Hummingbird reseller was roughly $US2000 last year, but Cheng says this is expected to rise due to the addition of new product lines to the Hummingbird suite. This cost includes reseller training.

According to IDC figures, the company, which was founded in Toronto in 1989, currently holds 55 per cent of PCX market worldwide on all platforms with its Exceed product. Revenues for Hummingbird topped $Cdn100 million for the last fiscal year.

"Our direction is very heavily focused on inter-connectivity of PCs to host machines," said Cheng. "The more we talk to customers, the more we find that they need solutions for heterogenous computing environments.

"That need has never been greater, and it will be even greater in the future as far as we see it. So that's why we've focused on this business, and we believe this business gives us a lot of room to grow, not only in more mature markets, but also in the developing countries in Asia-Pacific."

More than PCÐX

While its bread and butter product is PC-X server software, Hummingbird has also been active in the acquisition marketplace, recently picking up portable electronic document format developer Common Ground.

"We have expanded from a company with just one product line to a company with five product lines," said Cheng.

Those lines include the Maestro suite of NFS and TCP/IP applications, HostExplorer terminal emulation suite, TN3270 and TN5250 software, and various networking and communication products such as NewsWatch server for delivering Usenet newsgroups.

"Our company strategy has always been to put out good and sturdy products, that are feature rich and high performance. And we always aim at the high end of the market sector," said Cheng. "This has proven to be very successful for us in the past, not only from the of view of growth in revenue, we also maintain a very healthy margin."

The flagship Exceed product allows up to 64 XWindows sessions to be displayed simultaneously on a PC screen.

Cheng says this reduces the number of Unix workstations required in an environment, as legacy PCs can use the processing power resident at the server to display full XWindows sessions.

"They are all displayed on the PC as local applications, and you can also do your PC work at the same time," said Cheng.

"You can copy and paste between a Unix application and PC application, or amongst Unix applications themselves."

Hummingbird Communications

Tel (02) 9410 9915 Fax (02) 9410 9917


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