Accton attacks Australian SME market

Taiwanese networking equipment manufacturer Accton has announced the Asia-Pacific region to be the first to trial a new SME-focused branding strategy. Singapore will become the vendor's regional hub while a country manager for Australia has been appointed.

Accton traditionally markets its switches, hubs, modems, network interface cards (NIC) and other networking products through a range of OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners such as 3Com and Hewlett-Packard. These OEM partners include nine of the largest 10 networking vendors in the world, commanding approximately 70 per cent of the manufacturer's business. It also owns, partially or in full, several networking manufacturers such as MotoTech, US Robotics and SMC.

Channel partners and customers will soon begin to see Accton's own brand on a range of products, such as workgroup switches and Internet access devices. This push will begin in the Asia-Pacific region and expand internationally in the next few years.

All products under the Accton brand will be focused on the small business market, while enterprise customers will continue to see Accton products branded under the SMC brand, already popular in North America and Europe.

According to Charles Chen, managing director for Accton Asia Pacific, the brands are separated into market segments to avoid conflict with the OEM partners that make up the majority of Accton's business. These partners tend to focus on the corporate market and are not as concerned about Accton's branding activity in the SME/SOHO space.

Accton has appointed local channel stalwart Michael Calculli as its country manager for Australia, who is currently in the process of signing several distributors for both the Accton range and the SMC range.

Aside from its popular networking products, an example of an Accton product about to hit the Australian market will be the Wildfire Internet appliance, demonstrated at Taipai's annual Computex trade show last week.

The appliance, based on the Linux operating system running on a 300Mhz chip, is a file server, print server, Web server and e-mail server. The Wildfire appliance is an all-in-one small device. Aimed at the SME/SOHO market, it promises the reseller an easy sell due to its simplicity and low cost. It can be set up in under half an hour, has a built-in firewall, Web-caching proxy and can support a wide range of WAN connections including DSL, Cable, ISDN and analogue modems. The product is expected to be a prominent feature of Accton's arrival in the Australian market.