Reseller Computer Network Systems (CNS) has invested almost £300,000 to launch its 3Complete website to help customers choose the right 3Com products.
The website has already won praise from the channel. Clare Wales, 3Com sales specialist at distributor Westcon, said: "Some resellers have used the website and people have said it's easier to use than the 3Com website."
She said that the simplicity of use means it will generate business for 3Com products.
According to Chris Absalon, technical director at CSN, the site will offer value-add as well as a means to win business.
"We see this as a value-add that will attract new customers. Our existing customers also like it because it means they can chose add-on products without coming to us first," he said.
"There has been a growing need for an educational resource that can be used by anyone looking for help with networking and communications issues, right from the design stages to the real world."
The new site will give any potential buyer access to information about 3Com products and will advise on placing and integrating them with networks.
CNS explained that it did not expect to lose much consultancy or sales margin by offering the service, because the products are simple to use.
"We were concerned about this but we are trying to get the information that can be put out to people via the website and provide consultancy on more complex products," said Absalon.
Wales added that because 3Com only sells through the channel there is no risk of customers using the site and then bypassing the channel.
"It can be used as a reference site, and once [customers] have seen the products they will buy through the channel," she said.
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