Ascend targeting WANs in SME market

Ascend Communications has set its eyes on Asia-Pacific's SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) networking market, introducing a range of products targeted specifically at the WAN (wide area network) segment.

"It is a well known fact that 90 per cent of all businesses in Asia have less than 100 employees," said Joe Roissier, director of marketing, Ascend Asia-Pacific. "With rapid technology advancements, SMEs expect to have access to the same solutions as their multinational counterparts."

Rather than sell directly to end users, Ascend will work within its existing base of customers, primarily the carriers and ISPs (Internet service providers), to bundle services such as ISDN (integrated services digital network) into a fully integrated value-added offer, Roissier said.

The organisation is also targeting its desktop networking applications at specific markets such as finance, manufacturing and transportation, he added.

Shrink-wrapped into four main product packages, Ascend's SME offerings consists of its MAX 800 remote access concentrator, Pipeline routers 50 or 130, NavisAccess management tool, and SecureConnect Firewall.

Selling at Ascend's suggested retail prices of between $US2188 and $2288, the bundles will also be made available to end users through Ascend's existing network of channel partners throughout Asia-Pacific, Roissier said.

He added that the company is further looking towards systems integrators and providers of managed applications that are already familiar in the SME customer environment, to develop and deploy business applications for Ascend clients.

Ascend also recently launched two new channel services programs across Asia-Pacific. The Global Integration Services programs are designed to facilitate stronger reseller-customer relationships and enable authorised Ascend reseller partners to focus on delivering "time to market" next-generation public network offerings through services, the company said.

Through the Authorised Service Provider and Advantage Reseller Partner programs, customers can now receive the full range of Ascend's products and services through its authorised resellers, including these partners own "brand" of services.

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