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Meet 3Com's new boss -- not the same old boss

Meet 3Com's new boss -- not the same old boss

Veteran Edgar Masri talks about why he came back to 3Com and his plans for the company

Obviously a lot has changed at 3Com since then. What are your thoughts on 3Com now, vs. the one you worked at previously?

Coming on board, I noticed a lot of things have changed. Primarily, the market has changed, in that 3Com is no longer a network interface card company. That business is no more and is integrated into computer motherboards. The infrastructure business had opportunities for improvement in many areas. There were some interesting ideas, but the momentum needed to be rebuilt. I was very pleased with what I saw at TippingPoint. It matched very much with my expectations and the opportunity of the market.

I felt, though, that the main asset out there was the joint venture, and the best way to unlock the whole value was to acquire this asset. Huawei has proven to be a great partner, but with any joint venture, you end up hearing from both parents. And at some point, it's important to have one message. Huawei delivered a lot of support and help and infrastructure, but now is the time for that team to become a material part of 3Com.

What will change for 3Com's U.S. enterprise customers, now that the company has full ownership of H3C?

What customers are getting is state-of-the-art technology at a very cost-effective price and value. Customers will see more leveraging of the infrastructure of China, and the size. In China, you have a lot of component providers. These component vendors now are looking at the combined H3C and 3Com as a larger entity. This will allow us to obtain better terms, and we also could make that benefit customers through a more cost-effective solution.

There are other things I like to highlight that are being worked on in China by the team at H3C. They are developing platforms to add a lot of [new] applications. One of them is video surveillance. Another is IP storage. A third one will be carrier-grade Ethernet capabilities. We will not necessarily bring all of those to the U.S. market. But the U.S. market should start getting exposure to some of those solutions, primarily in the area of video. We will have a head-start over our competition [in these new areas] because the team in China has already built some of those solutions.

When will these video, storage or carrier Ethernet technologies come to the U.S. market?

We are excited about those solutions, and generating revenue in China from them. There is work that needs to take place to determine which ones are positioned to bring to the U.S. It's not the technology; the good news is we have the technology. It's the go-to-market. It's different between China and the U.S. I would not go as far to say all these technologies will be brought to the U.S.

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