Leading networking company 3Com has launched two new operations designed to capitalise on an ever-expanding global market for its products. 3Com, which began as a back-end provider for networking enablers, announced the establishment of 3Com Systems and 3Com Personal Products to bring the company into the end-to-end solutions market, which Cisco, the industry's leading firm, also hopes to capture. 'The breadth of 3Com's product line and sales channels, combined with our vision of the future of networking has led to the rapid growth and many new opportunities for 3Com,' 3Com chairman and chief executive, Eric Benhamou, said. 'These organisational changes will allow us to bring the full weight of 3Com's capabilities to bear to meet the diverse needs of our customers and channel partners.' 3Com Systems will service LAN (local area network) and WAN (wide area network) operations, focusing heavily on enterprise customers, telecoms and network service providers worldwide. Jim Olson, senior vice-president and general manager of 3Com Systems' WAN operations, said the group would concentrate on migration of IBM legacy programs, expanded services in remote access and public dial-up services. 'IBM legacy systems hold about 63 per cent of data worldwide, and with only 35 per cent converted from SNA (systems network architecture) to the network,' he said. 'In the first quarter alone, we have added 50 sales representatives in the IBM high-program router area and have doubled our Token Ring specialists.' In terms of remote access 3Com has also bumped up its sales activity. The company employs 100 sales representatives for telecommunications carriers alone from only 10 a year ago with the expansion spread evenly in 3Com's three main markets: America, Europe and Asia Pacific. 'We pretty much own Korea,' Mr Olson said. 'You pretty much have to go to 3Com to access a carrier there. We are also doing very well in China and are currently working with Shanghai Telecom and Beijing Telecom.' 3Com is basing its strategy on what it calls the Trinity Architecture, which establishes line services, packet services (access to central data sites) and connection services. Mr Olson, who formerly worked for Hewlett-Packard, won and lost the Hongkong Telecom IMS account for video-on-demand services. He said he was now wary of making future predictions but felt safe in saying the ISDN (Integrated services digital network) wave was unlikely to beat forthcoming XDSL technology, which also runs over copper wires from telecoms centres to homes, but offered faster access and better use of bandwidth than ISDN. 'ISDN is going to do great for a while yet,' he said. 'But customers are going to want a lot more.' 3Com Personal Products will focus on strengthening ties between volume products often associated with desktop connectivity or end users and global selling programs. 3Com currently has eight production lines - four at its headquarters in California and four in Ireland. Randy Heffner, 3Com's vice-president of manufacturing for personal connectivity operations, said that Asian sales accounted for approximately one production line. All lines run around the clock. He said that 3Com was currently considering Malaysia, Singapore or the Philippines as a manufacturing site in an Asian expansion, which would begin with one line of production, adding another line every six to 12 months. ON THE MOVE 3Com offers products to compete with Cisco Systems to service LAN and WAN operations, focusing heavily on enterprise customers, telecoms and network service providers worldwide.