Enterprise networking vendor, Enterasys, is asking channel partners to become more proactive as it looks to eat into Cisco business at the top end of town.
It will launch its new N-Series switches into the Australian market at the end of this month, has introduced its new range of XSR security routers designed for branch offices and is bullish about opportunities for its Dragon intrusion detection products.
Now its Australian managing director, Gary Mitchell, is looking to build better relationships with key resellers and is promising focused marketing assistance for those showing the desired level of commitment. A channel training roadshow for N-Series switches starts on July 9.
“Channel partners, staff and competition have always said Enterasys is long on technology but short on marketing but we are looking to address that,” Mitchell said.
“You’re not going top see a lot of full page adverts. In terms of bang for your buck, you can do a lot more by electronically mailing valuable information to strategic people.
“My partnering philosophy is to work closely with those who can bring value to our table as much as we can to theirs. The ball is in their court.”
Main distributor Avnet is to appoint an Enterasys sales and marketing manager during July and will be given access to its Dragon intrusion detection range.
“In the past, we have been under represented in the intrusion detection market,” said Mitchell.
“Dragon sells very well overseas but the Australian figures have not been particularly startling. I think there is room for us to grow with more traditional networking partners.”
Enterasys’ other distributor, Blue Sky, will continue to concentrate solely on Dragon.
Mitchell said the previously announced new channel program should also be launched in July but stressed that he was not looking to add to the reseller ranks.
“For the first time in two years we are getting calls from Cisco partners. If you look at them [Cisco] today, they are over-distributed and we don’t want to create that environment among our channel,”
“I am keen to have healthy competition among partners but we don’t want to go overboard," Mitchell said.
"If you have 20 resellers going for one piece of business then you are always going to disappoint 19 of them.”
According to Mitchell, Enterasys will beat its Australian revenue figures for the whole of 2002 within nine months of this year.
Locally, he pointed to the recent $5 million contract signed with the WA Department of Education and Training.
He said he would have more deals of a similar size to announce this quarter.
Globally, Mitchell cited the removal of a US SEC inquiry into accounting irregularities, new company management and the share price recovery as factors behind the turn around in Enterasys’ fortunes this year.
Now he is predicting opportunities with large global outsourcers like Unisys, EDS, IBM and CSC will provide Enterasys with its biggest growth area going forward in Australia.
“There are also markets were we would welcome partners that can bring us specialist knowledge of certain industries,” Mitchell said. “We do well in government but could do better in banking and finance.”