Rising from virtual oblivion in Australia a year ago, Fore Systems is now making a play to bring on board Australia's largest and most powerful network integrators.
"I want Com Tech and I want it tomorrow," said new Fore Systems general manager Grant Morrison who is also looking to target Anixter, Compaq's network integration division and NCR.
"We are the world's number one ATM vendor so it's our natural place in the world that we are represented by the tier-one network integrators," he said.
Fore is currently in advanced contract negotiations with a number of smaller integrators - including Sunrise in Queensland and Cam Tech in South Australia - to sign on as official partners. According to Morrison, these negotiations are currently on hold until Fore Systems attempts to shore up deals with the tier-one players. However, he stressed that these integrators will not be disadvantaged no matter what developments take place with the larger integrators.
"They will still get all the discount rights and support agreements they have negotiated," Morrison said.
They may, however, be serviced by a distributor. Morrison wants to sign on a distributor to take care of second-tier integrators and niche resellers playing in the videoconferencing and imaging markets.
Morrison also told ARN that Fore will join the certification bandwagon later this year, with certification programs introduced locally for both the LAN and WAN arenas.
After struggling to establish a presence in the Australian market for a number of years, Fore enjoyed considerable success last year under the stewardship of Charles Spooner, who recently left the company.
"Last year we won four of the biggest networking deals in Australia at Monash and Charles Sturt universities, the Australian Tax Office and Papua New Guinea Telecom. This year we want to win eight to 10, next year we'll win half of them," Morrison boasted.
Big for ATM
Morrison claims next year will be big for ATM, despite the introduction of Gigabit Ethernet. He believes ATM can finally break out beyond the backbone, with the introduction of ATM-supported applications for videoconferencing and telephony, as well as native ATM support in Windows NT 5.0.
This month Fore has been showcasing its Network of Steel roadshow which, according to Morrison, demonstrates the plug-and-play capabilities of Fore's ATM equipment.
"I would challenge any Ethernet vendor to stand up next to us and prove they're plug and play," he said.