Enterasys makes a comeback

Networking vendor Enterasys has picked up the baton in 2003 and is back in the race.

Staging its first Asia-Pacific partner conference last week, the networking vendor announced an aggressive new marketing campaign and a revamped channel program.

The announcements followed Enterasys’ signing of a $5 million deal with the West Australian Department of Education and Training and the posting of positive full-year revenue for 2002.

Channel partners from China, Korea, Japan, India and Australia met in Perth for the Enterasys conference where the vendor announced its progress since the US SEC inquiry and the sacking of three senior staff over accounting irregularities in early 2002 that pummeled its reputation.

One of the key goals for the company in 2003 is to rebuild its name in the marketplace. As such Enterasys announced new marketing initiatives, starting with an aggressive advertising campaign.

The announcement was welcomed by Enterasys’ channel partners after the vendor scrapped its advertising budget last year.

A channel partner said one of Enterasys’ weaknesses to date had been insufficient investments in marketing.

“I’ve got heaps of customers that come in and when I tell them the product’s from Enterasys, they don’t recognise the name. Then I say they spun off from Cabletron and the customer says ‘oh yeah. . . I know them’.”

The vendor announced it would also be rolling out new products and had launched a new external APAC Web site in an effort to shake off the Cabletron mantle and build brand recognition.

“We’ve revamped the whole Web site in Q4 based on going after new customers,” Enterasys’ vice president of corporate marketing, Bob Ray, said at the conference. "On our previous Web site you had to know what you were looking for. On our new site, we communicate on the level of a new customer.”

Enterasys also announced the rollout of a new channel partner program in the Asia-Pacific over 2003 that was implemented in the US last year. The three-tier partner program is comprised of Associate Members, Certified Partners and Elite Partners and offers partners incremental pricing advantages according to status.

The vendor said it would maintain its highly selective distribution channel, that is comprised of Avnet and Blue … in order to minimise margin erosion, as well as develop a vertically focused reseller channel.

While 89 per cent of Enterasys’ products are currently sold in the Asia-Pacific through the channel, the company announced that it would offer its partners greater sales and services resources, such as online sales and technical training via global Webinars, in an effort to adopt a 100 per cent channel delivery model.

Ray said that its channel partners were imperative to Enterasys’ success in the hyper-competitive enterprise networking market.

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