Timeplex Group's new Asia-Pacific vice-president, Bo-Kwang Suh, sees his biggest challenge as reshaping the company after its spin-off from Swiss telecom company Ascom. Timeplex, a wide-area-network (WAN) product manufacturer, was acquired recently by Schroder Ventures, an international venture-capital firm specialising in telecommunications. Schroder Ventures, which also owns part of Timeplex rival Newbridge Networks, bought 51 per cent of Timeplex. Prior to joining Timeplex's Asia-Pacific operations, Mr Suh was general manager of the Ascom group of companies in South Korea. He has been with Ascom for seven years. 'I have aimed for this position for a long time,' Mr Suh said, adding that he expected no problems adapting to Hong Kong. 'Korea also is under China's cultural umbrella,' he said. Consolidating the company's operations in the region is one of Mr Suh's immediate tasks. But what he regards as his most important job is to have Timeplex, a 28-year-old WAN company, reborn with leading-edge technologies in two years. Timeplex will devote US$22 million, or about an eighth of its revenues this year, to research and development of new product lines. These could include a new type of ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) backbone and remote-access device, he said. Timeplex also might 'reshape' by acquiring new technologies, which he considered more efficient than spending resources on its own R&D. He believed the company's spin-off from Ascom was beneficial for both parties. 'While Ascom can refocus its business on service automation, Timeplex can obtain sufficient capital from Schroder Ventures which is necessary for future progress,' he said. Timeplex derives one-third of its revenue from Asia-Pacific. 'We will contribute even more,' Mr Suh said, but declined to forecast the company's business growth in Asia this year, because of the region's economic uncertainty.