3Com has established a consulting arm to try and boost sales of its Palm Pilot personal digital assistant, and its enterprise and IP PBX voice switches.
The move follows plans by rivals, Lucent and Cisco, to beef up their respective consulting businesses. As a result, Lucent acquired INS earlier this year (see Newswire, 11 August, 1999), while Cisco pumped $1.05 billion into KMPG (see Newswire, 10 August, 1999).
Phil Hillhouse, 3Com Consulting Services' vice president of marketing, said the unit would not sell services across its entire product portfolio, but provide a targeted "solutions pitch".
He explained: "We will provide the network design from the PDA device to the Lan and the Wan. It will be a single point of call for customers across all products."
3Com Consulting Services will have an 85 strong global consulting team to provide advice, implementation and integration services around its Palm devices, the Corebuilder 9000 carrier and enterprise switch and the IP PBX switches from its acquisition of NBX. It aims to double the number of consultants by fiscal year 2001, however.
While the company will initially provide the services directly, it also plans to certify partners from next quarter to make them available via the channel within 12 months.
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