3Com Taps EDS To Help With Enterprise Push

Under the renewed partnership, EDS will sell and service 3Com's lineup of routers, switches and IP telephony products, opening new sales opportunities for 3Com among EDS' base of large enterprise customers, said Anik Bose, vice president of corporate business development at 3Com, Marlborough, Mass.

3Com previously held partnerships with EDS and other large systems integrators such as IBM and Accenture, but those relationships dissolved after 3Com dropped its high-end enterprise products three years ago, Bose said.

3Com recently has mounted a revival of its enterprise portfolio via a joint venture with Chinese networking vendor Huawei Technologies. That venture enables 3Com and its channel partners to sell enterprise networking gear, such as LAN switches and routers, sourced from Huawei.

3Com earlier this year also began shipping the VCX 7000, its new IP telephony softswitch for the enterprise. The VCX 7000 came from CommWorks, the service provider business unit 3Com sold in March to telecom gear maker UTStarcom.

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EDS, Plano, Texas, is the first of the systems integration and consulting giants to join 3Com's channel since the Huawei joint venture became operational last month.

3Com is in "active discussions" with several of EDS' peers and expects to ink partnerships with those firms over the next year, Bose said. The vendor is creating a channel program for its new high-value partners, he said.

EDS, which also represents networking gear from Cisco, initially will focus on rolling out 3Com technology to vertical market customers in the United States and United Kingdom in areas such as retail and finance, Bose said.

The worldwide partnership agreement will not conflict with 3Com's existing solution provider partnerships because those partners tend to focus on small and midsize customers, Bose said.

3Com declined to disclose financial terms of the multiyear, renewable agreement.