D-Link looks to shake consumer tag

D-Link looks to shake consumer tag

While a US bigwig has said D-Link needs to break market perception that it is a consumer brand, the networking vendor's local boss has claimed that process is well underway in Australia.

D-Link Australia general manager, Domenic Torre, was reacting to comments made by newly appointed vice-president of channel sales, John DiFrenna.

On taking up the role, DiFrenna said D-Link was thought of as a consumer brand and suggested a lack of training and support were major stumbling blocks.

But Torre said D-Link had already gone a long way to establishing itself in the local business market during the past five years, claiming it had about 60 per cent of the telco market and was now gaining a foothold in the enterprise and SME backbone space.

"In the US, the business market is probably around 25 per cent of sales," he said. "Locally, it's almost equally balanced with consumer."

But IDC associate analyst telecommunications, Shing Quah, said the vendor's telco ties had only served to strengthen its perception as a consumer brand.

"D-Link's telco relationships have reinforced its brand in consumer circles," she said. "This has often led to a strong perception of D-Link being a consumer play."

Despite this, Quah agreed the vendor had managed to achieve greater success in the local backbone space than its US counterpart.

"D-Link has put more focus on targeting SMEs, especially in the education sector and local government sectors," she said. "The stepping up of its Empower partner program has also had an effect."

Torre pointed to a range of channel initiatives in the past year - including the creation of a dedicated business partner hotline and a 24-hour onsite replacement service - as reasons behind its increased business sales through the channel.

D-Link was now looking to increase its number of technically certified resellers, refresh its partner program and launch a new sales-based training initiative early next year.

"We will also recruit additional business-focused VARS and integrators as well as another six corporate business development managers across the country to support them," he said.

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