UPDATE: 3Com Names New Americas Sales Exec, Rolls Out Channel Support Offerings

Oristano, who formerly served as vice president of Americas sales at Unisphere Networks, will oversee 3Com's direct and indirect sales in the United States, Canada and Latin America, according to a spokesperson at 3Com, Marlborough, Mass.

Previously, Oristano was vice president of worldwide service provider sales at Lucent Technologies and has held direct and indirect sales positions at AT&T, Bay Networks, Cisco Systems and Digital Equipment Corp.

He will report to Nick Ganio, executive vice president of worldwide sales, who joined 3Com in late June after serving as the president of the enterprise division at distributor Bell Microproducts.

Dave Smith, former vice president of Americas sales at 3Com, will continue to report to Ganio on special assignment to support the transition, 3Com said in a statement.

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It is unclear if Smith will remain with 3Com following the transition.

Separately, 3Com Wednesday also rolled out a series of new channel support offerings designed to help solution providers ensure customer satisfaction.

"We recognize that as we move to the enterprise that we really need to focus on the services area," said Jean Hoxie-Wasko, vice president of worldwide customer service at 3Com.

3Com in March announced a joint venture with Huawei Technologies to produce high-end networking gear for large enterprises. The deal is expected to gain final regulatory approval in the fall.

With Partner Express Backup Service, 3Com solution providers receive priority access to 24x7 telephone technical support, with direct access to senior-level engineers, as well as software upgrades and next-day hardware replacements.

The services offering includes two options: Customer Base Support, whereby channel partners purchase Partner Express Backup Service for each customer they wish to cover, and Installed Base Support, whereby partners choose which products to put under contract.

In both cases, partners field customer support calls to maintain their position as the primary face to the customer.

"One thing that has been a hot button for a while is access to the right people or access to the right information, and I think this is 3Com's attempt to fix some of those problems," said Larry Singletary, vice president of sales at Nsync Services, a Grand Prairie, Texas-based solution provider.

3Com also offers warranty support--typically 90 days of telephone support during weekday business hours--included with the customer's product purchase. The vendor also offers optional per-incident support for out-of-warranty products.

Previously, solution providers had to enroll in the 3Com Service Provider program to receive support, said Hoxie-Wasko. That program is being discontinued and will be replaced by the new one, she said.

Partner Express Backup Service is available through annual renewable contracts. Solution providers can get quotes for the Customer Base Support Option via 3Com's partner Web site and can place orders through 3Com distributors. The Installed Base Support option requires a custom quote from the 3Com Service Quote Desk.