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D-Link widening channel as product footprint expands

The firm has moved beyond its networking roots and as it enters new markets it has a requirement to expand its channel ecosystem

D-Link is encouraging existing partners that might have a networking background with the vendor to embrace some of the emerging areas it is now working in.

The firm has steadily built a reputation in cameras and the smart home segments and would like to see more of its channel base get involved in those areas.

The vendor has been working with its three distribution partners - Tech Data, Ingram Micro and Exertis - to make sure the support is there for those that want to extend their reach into other product areas.

D-Link has just completed an upgrade of its smart home app and launched a range of smart plugs as it extends the portfolio, with plans for more smart products to come over the course of this year. Paul Routledge, UK country manager at the vendor, said that the market had changed significantly in recent times.

"It is a different market now with Amazon and Google Home it is different and there is a lot more interest in it. It's not about controlling things from your phone it's the voice bit that has really set things off," he said.

"The enabler to the smart home is the router and we have been in that market for 32 years," he added.

As the market starts to blur between smart home and the IT channel the firm has noticed it is talking to more installers and has encouraged partners to work with those specialists.

"The professional installers are getting involved in the marketplace so there is an expansion. Manufacturers and the channel need to work on the messaging to users about how and where to use the technology," he said.

The firm has been increasing its channel programme breath with a bronze level of partner and more at the highest tier as well as giving more authorised partners access to online tools so it can demonstrate the value it can provide the channel.

"It is not just traditional IT installers and resellers there are different channels opening up. We started that years ago with IP surveillance getting into the CCTV channel," he said.

The experience of encouraging analog camera specialists to work with the IT channel was a process that had provided plenty of knowledge about making the ecosystem work across a broad church.

“We could see that there is a need for collaboration with the traditional camera installer that understands about the positioning and the maintenance of a system and from the traditional IT installers they were not used to doing that type of work,” he added “We have been getting approved installation partners and getting them to work together with traditional supply partners for years and we will see more of that.”

“The installers don’t have the contacts in the organization and the IT resellers do but don’t have the installation knowledge so being able to get them to work together is essential,” he said.

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