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Letters To The Editor
June 2000


In This Month's Mailbag:

3Com Saga Continued

Publisher Rich Tehrani addresses the letters he has received in response to his April, 2000 Publisher's Outlook "3Com: Making The Most Of LAN Telephony:"

Perhaps the greatest strength of a printed magazine is that you can take it with you anywhere. Magazines are easy to read and pleasing to the eye. Every cloud, they say, has a silver lining, and so it is with printed magazines. Time to print is the biggest problem with magazines. In fact, the time that elapses from when I finish writing a column to the time readers receive the issue in the mail can be three weeks or more, depending on how I am feeling about hitting deadlines that month.

I was just as surprised as anyone else to learn that 3Com is pulling out of the enterprise space. I perhaps am even more surprised than anyone else because just over one month before this announcement, 3Com told me they were planning to have their telephony products make serious inroads into this market.

3Com has decided that they will only concentrate on small to medium-sized customers. It seems this news was as much of a surprise to 3Com internally as it was to the outside world. My view on the incident is twofold:

  1. I am sad to see an enterprise market that is catered to by only Cisco. I think Cisco is one of the best-run companies in the communications space but less competition in the market is always bad for customers.
  2. Regarding 3Com, I have received a number of letters from angry 3Com customers. I am sure this negative sentiment will hurt 3Com for a while. I think technical people have long memories and it will take some time for 3Com's reputation to come back to normal. In the end, 3Com's greatest loyalty must be to their shareholders, and if 3Com doesn't feel the enterprise market is an area where they will be successful, they had little choice but to do what they did.

I have problem with this statement, "3Com now plans to expand into the large enterprise and call center markets where they will battle Nortel Networks and Lucent Technologies." There are a lot of negative feelings on the street from the enterprise end users after the recent announcements from 3Com regarding their future market strategies. I can't see 3Com expanding into the large enterprise market with a new product after abandoning the same market with their established products. At least that's the feeling on the street from the end user view. Your comments would be appreciated.
-- Rich Gorlewski
Englewood Electrical Supply
Rockford, IL

Why have any trust in 3Com for anything? They have abandoned all of their enterprise networking customers. What makes you think they will not do the same for IP telephony customers? Shame on you!
-- Bill Updegraff, Ripon, WI

We are the 3Com reseller who sold and installed the 3Com NBX 100 at Home Shopping's facility up north. If you have any questions about their system or want to know more as they expand their NBX network, feel free to contact me. We are close to installing another system twice the size of their first one at another facility. When we do so we will tie their Lucent switch into the NBX using T1 E&M Wink Start.

Would be happy to share more with HSN's permission of course. We have installed the NBX product in other businesses to include banks. We would love to share why and how NBX is a great solution for community banks with branch locations. Voice and data convergence is an easy sell when you calculate what it saves them in addition to creating a unified communications system.
Great article!
-- Brian C. Boyer
Manager National Sales
DataComm Networks Incorporated

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No Sympathy For The Predictive Dialer

In response to the May 2000 Reality Check, "Pleased To Meet You, Hope You Guess My Name:"

Read your article.

Two points: Is it really true that outbound telemarketing is more effective with predictive dialers? Most everyone I know can hear the delay, then the background noise of a room full of people, and hangs up at that point, before the telemarketer gets to say their first word. I'd guess that the predictive dialers effectively screen out most mentally alert, employed, upper middle class people.

Second, a question: What does predictive dialing have to do with caller ID? Probably there's a connection there that most of your readers know about. You lost me there.

Again, overall, was pleased with your article.
-- Tom Day

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Going Mobile For Internet Access

In response Marc Robins' May 2000 Mind Share column, "Sweet Vindication:"

In your cross section of Internet telephony stocks, don't forget that GM will have over four million cars with OnStar by 2001. Cars with OnStar cell phones by Motorola will have voice activated Internet access capability through General Magic's VUI MagicTalk platform and Network Operations Centers. GM is going to put more people in touch with the Internet via telephony than any ISP will in the next 10 years. TMCnet.com is a great Web site.
-- Matt

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