Looking Fore the future

Looking Fore the future

Since a $US4.5 billion merger agreement saw network vendor Fore Systems acquired by communi-cations company Marconi last year, the details of its Australian operations continue to be fine tuned.

In fact, the local subsidiary is still to announce a new man-aging director to head the combined operations in Australia.

A spokeswoman told ARN that Tim Geerarts, Marconi's general manager for Australasia, would be looking after its operations here until an announcement was made in early April about the new managing director.

According to Geerarts, Marconi will continue to work with the existing channel but now have a broader product range to offer. `Marconi sells previous Fore Systems products and will continue to sell into those enterprise markets,' Geerarts said. `That's what Fore Systems did and that's what we're going to do.'

He believes the challenge Marconi has is the same for any player in the market, in terms of providing its resellers with the product they require and getting the pricing range right.

Geerarts said it was currently talking with both its distributor and resellers to ensure they were happy.

`Basically we want to strengthen those relationships.'

Marconi has one distributor, which Geerart declined to name, and about six resellers in Australia. `It's all about quality, not quantity,' Geerarts said.

The products Marconi sells into the enterprise market go solely through the channel, and Geerarts said it had no intentions of going direct. He said Marconi had grown considerably over time and was currently looking at increasing its staff dedicated to the enterprise market.

The purchase of Fore Systems was part of a program of acquisitions by Marconi since late 1998, when it sold its defense business to British Aerospace in a decision to focus on telecommunications.

Since then it has been complementing its product range with acquisitions such as Realtec, a US company which supplies access and transmission technologies, which Geerarts said gave it a foothold in the US and more access technologies to broaden its product portfolio.

The purchase of Fore Systems adds ATM broadband switching and IP technologies to Marconi's product portfolio.

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