3Com has unveiled its first broad offering to the mid-sized business market since it pulled out of the high-end corporate sector at the beginning of the year.
The networking giant yesterday announced a line of stackable switches and Bluetooth technologies aimed at medium-sized companies and branch offices of large organisations.
3Com plans to launch its first Bluetooth product, a wireless access point tool that can be used to create wireless Lans, early next year. The product will be followed by a range of notebook PC cards and universal serial bus adapters that have the short-range wireless radio technology built-in.
The company's latest line of SuperStack 3 switches includes the 4900 switch, which offers gigabit Ethernet over conventional copper wiring or fibre, and layer 3 switching. The SuperStack 3 Switch 3300s are six models of 10Mbps/100Mbps/1000Mbps switches which 3Com said take less than 15 minutes to install.
3Com announced plans to boost all its web-enabled products by including features such as web caching, content switching and firewall security. The company also said it is adding multiple language support to its NBX IP telephony system.
3Com's abrupt departure from the high-end enterprise market to concentrate on the home networking and small to medium-sized business markets drew fears from some resellers and customers that it is completely exiting the enterprise sector.
Yesterday Bruce Claflin, 3Com's president and chief executive, said: "This announcement clearly demonstrates 3Com's commitment to the commercial market."
Patrick Paczkowski, an analyst at researcher Current Analysis, said 3Com is leading the drive toward simplicity in networking. "3Com's strategy to offer a complete, new portfolio of Lan, web, wireless and voice products is solid, both in terms of its integrated approach for customers and its addressing the requirements of enterprises," he said.
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