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D-Link sets sights on MSP growth

Networking player D-Link wants to grow its channel base in 2021, with managed service providers among its targets

One of the main channel aspirations for networking player D-Link this year is to grow its channel base to reach more verticals, but in particular to increase the number of managed service providers (MSPs) it works with.

The firm has already seen more managed service providers sign up to its channel programmes, but with hybrid working and a greater shift to digital emerging as some of the likely lasting legacies of the coronavirus pandemic, there is a need to strike up relationships with a greater number of partners.

Paul Routledge, UK country manager at D-Link, said it had seen a general increase in interactions with anyone in the channel who had an online presence over the past year as business moved to the web, but the coronavirus pandemic also increased managed service activity as partners reached out to provide remote support for organisations that had sent their workers home.

He said it was continuing to add to its Nuclias range of cloud-managed networking products, which appealed to MSPs.

“We’ve brought more solutions to the market that fit that remote management model,” said Routledge. “We’ve seen more of our traditional partners transferring to more of an MSP model, but also the product set is now lending itself more towards somebody providing managed services.”

He said there was increasing interest in solutions that would provide secure networking that could be managed anywhere via the cloud, “as we either spend longer at home or we move towards the new normal, where there is a mix of working from home and in the office”.

“We are seeing a lot more interest in people using a Nuclias-class access point at home,” he said, adding that home builders were also talking to D-Link about getting the technology installed in new homes.

Routledge said D-Link was welcoming in fresh MSPs, as well as working with its existing loyal partner base as many of those transitioned to a more services-led business model.

“We have signed pure MSPs, but we’ve also got a range of partners that are in that transition, and there’s a lot of support we offer around that from a technology training point of view and also marketing support, sales support and lead generation,” he added.

“We are actively hunting for more MSP partners. We are pushing for more partners across the board.”

Routledge said there were opportunities in industrial ruggedised networking market that was growing and needed a Wi-Fi connection. Outdoor kiosks, outdoor signage, smart motorways and car park payment booths were also applications where the channel could make a difference.

Alan Jones, UK and Ireland marketing manager at D-Link, said the vendor was driving sector-based messaging that it would be sharing with MSPs to generate more business in key vertical markets.

He added that it had also put together a pitch for general small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), where the focus was around security and enabling that customer base to keep connected securely.

“On top of that, there are the flexible payment methods that fit with MSPs, which we will definitely be pushing,” said Jones.

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