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3Com Gets Help With The Enterprise From EDS

3Com Corp. on Tuesday said tech-consulting firm Electronic Data Systems Corp. has agreed to offer 3Com products to corporate clients, giving the computer-networking-equipment maker a boost in its re-entry into the enterprise market.

The deal announced Tuesday is 3Com's first with a top-tier consulting company. Plano, Texas-based, EDS is the second largest tech-services firm behind IBM.

EDS will also offer products developed through a joint venture between Marlborough, Mass.-based, 3Com and China's Huawei Technologies Co. The Huawei deal followed 3Com's decision to re-enter the enterprise market, dominated by Cisco Systems Inc, after largely withdrawing from it in 2000 to pursue small and midsize businesses.

Having Huawei as a partner is the reason companies like EDS are taking 3Com seriously, Brian Riggs, analyst for research firm Current Analysis, said.

"With Huawei products in their portfolio, 3Com stands a better chance of competing head-to-head with Cisco, and to be taken more seriously by top-tier system integrators and consulting companies that in the past wouldn't have given them the time of day," Riggs said.

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