Huawei is making its push from carrier to enterprise supplier with the inauguration of its Advantage partner program.
“[It] will offer our partners and resellers the opportunity to grow with Huawei’s enterprise business, bringing new business prospects, along with new avenues for growth and profitability,” said Tony Zhang, head of South Pacific enterprise sales for the Chinese technology and Fortune 500 telecommunications equipment maker.
Freshly minted head of channels sales with Huawei Australia, Gavin Milton-White said its enterprise business was worth $10 million but he hoped that would grow to $100 million in the next two to three years. Queensland’s RailCorp was among its biggest customers.
“We expect exceptionally rapid growth,” Milton-White said.
Last June, Huawei Australia signed distributor Simms International to go after Cisco in the Australian enterprise network market.
Milton-White wouldn't say if Cisco’s woes presented opportunities for Huawei to take business from the US networks giant. As Cisco struggled to hold key markets Huawei posted years of stellar growth, last year generating sales of more than $US35 billion with more than 110,000 staff worldwide.
Zhang said Huawei's fledgling enterprise business would grow to become the dominant division in the company in 10 years.
The vendor will use the channel program to help its resellers go after transport, banking and finance markets.
Zhang said it was negotiating the sale of Huawei automatic teller machines that had interactive video.
“This is our next big [technology] breakthrough,” he said.
Huawei will train resellers to zero in on the needs of specific companies; “The market today is quite reactive”, Milton-White said.
He said its cloud technologies positioned Huawei to offer managed services to enterprises. It operated a server business in China, which it may take to other markets.
Zhang said if there was any obstacle to Huawei’s ambitions in the enterprise it was the perception that it was an imitator.
The company has also been the target of accusations its technology was being used to further the security interests of the Chinese government.
US congressmen in February scotched Huawei's $US2 million buy of US supercomputer equipment maker 3Leaf after they lobbied intensely to unravel the deal completed the previous May. The reversal prompted Huawei USA chairman Ken Hu to issue an open letter inviting US Government investigation of the company.
A 2008 US Defence department to Congress report found "Huawei maintain close ties to the [Peoples Liberation Army] and collaborate on research and development".