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3Com's Enterprise Challenge

3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS), a company which is synonymous with consumer electronics, is making a serious play for the enterprise market, but just how easy will this be?

Clearly, 3Com is committed to shaking off its consumer-based image. In the last week the company finally completed its $430 million acquisition of TippingPoint Technologies Inc. and signed a major licensing deal with another security vendor, Borderware Technologies (see 3Com Closes TippingPoint Buy and 3Com, Borderware Make OEM Deal).

But Zeus Kerravala, vice president of analyst firm The Yankee Group, warns that the vendor suffers from something of an image problem. I think that they have a bit of a credibility problem in the enterprise -- they are thought of as a small business or consumer play.” Products are not the problem, but sales and marketing, he adds.

The Marlborough, Massachusetts-based firm currently has no global vice president of sales, and Kerravala says that a lot of large enterprises are unaware of what it has to offer.

Joseph Vukson, 3Com’s manager of worldwide corporate communications tells NDCF that the search is on to find a new global sales VP -- in the meantime, CEO Bruce Claflin is fulfilling the role. Vukson admitted that the company does not always get the credit it deserves in the enterprise. “There are a lot of people that still equate 3Com with the PalmPilot and those types of products,” he says.

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