3Com becomes 2Pronged

3Com becomes 2Pronged

After lukewarm sales of its high-end networking products, 3Com in Australia has announced it will narrow its focus down to the SME and carrier markets.

The company will discontinue its range of high-level LAN (local area network) and WAN (wide area network) switches and routers, leaving Cisco the industry de facto standard.

3Com yesterday posted quarterly global revenues that managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Archie Wilson, described as "slightly up from this time last year". However, Wilson said that while the company's carrier and SME (small-to-medium enterprise) earnings had been "up" since last year, the earnings attributed to high-end networking systems were "down year on year".

"The top line in the company is still not growing," he said.

As a result, 3Com in the US announced it would discontinue its CoreBuilder Layer 2/3 Gigabit Ethernet and ATM LAN switches, as well as its PathBuilder and NetBuilder WAN switches and routers -- changes that would see as many as 1000 employees retrenched and a further 2000 shuffled off to work for 3Com's partnering organisations.

Wilson said 3Com's local operation would closely replicate the radical strategic changes of the US, but he said no Australian or New Zealand staff would be affected. This was because 3Com's local operations were already focused on the SME and carrier markets, he explained, adding that most retrenched US staff would be closely linked to the company's analog modem product line, which did not involve any local employees.

3Com will also expand its presence in the CRM (customer relationship management) and hospitality networking marketplaces, Wilson said.

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