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Huawei plans to add other distributors, Claus said, but at a smaller scale, and that it intends U.S. resellers to source Huawei products through Synnex. Huawei has not said much about how many U.S. solution provider partners it has brought on thus far, but Claus told CRN the company is in late-stage talks with close to 30 VARs.
"I've met with a lot of partners, and the response is that this is a great opportunity -- this is the beginning of something big," Claus said. "Our goal is to get quality resellers that can see the opportunity here. And they're reaching out to us, too."
Huawei Enterprise did roughly $3.8 billion in sales contracts in 2011, according to the company, up from $2 billion in 2010. But, Huawei overall has seen recent setbacks, too; while its sales increased 12 percent year-over-year in 2011 -- Huawei posted about $33 billion in annual revenue -- its profit dropped 53 percent year-over-year. Huawei chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, recently said Huawei would institute a system of rotating CEOs, with each leader heading the company for six months.
Huawei has sought a greater global enterprise footprint for some time, though continued allegations over its chief executives' ties to the Chinese military have stalled its efforts to break into the U.S.
Some channel partners had gotten a taste of Huawei through the Huawei Symantec venture, but Huawei bought out Symantec's stake in that venture for $530 million. Huawei Symantec's North America operations shut down in January.
There's another key reason Synnex is a fit for Huawei: Unlike rivals Ingram Micro and Tech Data, Synnex does not carry Cisco products. Cisco and Huawei have an emerging rivalry, and Cisco CEO John Chambers has spoken publicly of Huawei as perhaps Cisco's most formidable long-term competitor.