New Enterasys Sales Exec Confirms Channel Commitment

"We would like to break out of the pack and go take the No. 2 dominant position in the enterprise internetworking space, end-to-end, second only to Cisco in the market," said Michael Rivers, executive vice president of sales and services at Enterasys, who joined the Andover, Mass.-based company last week. "Now, that's not only a very attainable objective, it's a very admirable objective in my opinion, and the only way that we're going to do that successfully is in unison with and in partnership with our business partners around the globe," he said during a conference call hosted by the company to introduce the new executive to its channel partners.

To reach that goal, Enterasys has some ground to cover. In the Layer 2 through 7 Ethernet LAN switch market in 2003, for example, Enterasys held an eighth-place 2.4 percent market share. Cisco held the top spot with a market share of 65.6 percent, while Nortel Networks held the No. 2 spot with a 6.2 percent share, according to Synergy Research Group.

Rivers also said Enterasys would deliver on promises made at its 2004 Americas Partner Conference earlier this month to foster closer ties between its inside sales organization and the channel through joint regional business-planning efforts. He said the company would also improve communications with partners.

"One of our absolute commitments ... is to become the best channel and business partner-centric company in the enterprise industry. We're going to put all the pieces in place to drive toward that trajectory," Rivers said.

Sponsored post

While some partners have expressed concern over the frequency of executive turnovers at Enterasys, other said such changes do not affect their business.

"It's transparent to us at this point," said Lesley Taufer, president and CEO of Boulder Corp. The Boulder, Colo.-based solution provider is on track to sell $500,000 to $700,000 in Enterasys products this quarter and is projecting healthy sales growth throughout the rest of the year, Taufer said.

One piece of the company's strategy to improve channel relationships is a revamped partner program slated to debut next month. That program will include new partner designations, prohibit uncertified partners from selling high-end equipment and restrict specialized pricing that previously was available to all partners, executives said at the partner conference.

Enterasys is also rolling out a "seize the opportunity" bonus program that provides margin boosts for partners who win new business against competitors' quotes, Rivers said.

Rivers previously served as vice president of worldwide sales and business development at security switch vendor Inkra Networks, with prior experience at Nortel Networks, Bay Networks, Synoptics and IBM. He replaces Cosmo Santullo, who left Enterasys to pursue other opportunities, the company said.