Networking vendor 3Com has become the latest vendor to throw down the gauntlet to Cisco after announcing it will now sell its China-based H3C high-end data centre portfolio into the EMEA theatre, with a focus on a credit crunch busting price list.
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It has also launched a new channel authorisation programme for global distribution of the H3C product set, as well as adding two new enterprise switching platforms.
At present the new channel is limited to France-based comms integrators BT France, Datcom and Lefatshe, but a 3Com spokesperson confirmed to MicroScope that discussions with UK partners "at a similar level" are in progress.
3Com president and COO Ron Sege emphasised the need to lower TCO, saying: "The H3C portfolio is the first entry into the global enterprise networking market in many years and its price/performance innovations set it apart from the rest of the industry."
In a remark that will be widely taken as a shot across Cisco's bows, CEO Bob Mao added: "Customers are ready for an alternative to the outdated and proprietary offerings that are costly to purchase and difficult to manage."
Analysts are already speculating that 3Com is trying to ramp up its market share, but have warned that it faces an uphill struggle in a crowded and active marketplace filled with channel partners still bitter over its 2001 exit from the enterprise market.
H3C was initially set up in 2006 alongside expansive Chinese networking hotshot Huawei, but 3Com subsequently bought out its partner's interest. The unit is said to account for around half of 3Com's revenues, and the vendor is keen to grow this.