SMB networking vendor D-Link is preparing to roll out in the second quarter a certified D-Link networking engineer program.
Greg Avera, vice president of channel sales for D-Link, said the company, which has a number of aggressively priced wireless networking products, is beta-testing the free program.
"Most of the high-end networking training is skewed to a particular vendor," said Avera in an interview at the Solution Provider Xchange conference here. "We want to educate people on alternatives in the departmental workgroup solutions market."
Avera said the training is a way to build stronger and tighter relationships with solution providers. He said vendors are not doing as much training in the wake of the more difficult business environment. "It costs a lot of money to get people trained," he said. "This is a good opportunity."
D-Link is also working with solution providers to target higher-performance D-Link products that are not as popular in retail channels. For example, he said the D-Link DWL-650H notebook wireless card, with a street price of about $100, is a better choice for solution providers than the DWL-650, which has a street price of about $75.
"We have a responsibility to create unique enough products and programs to allow solution providers to really build a practice around our products," he said.
D-Link also launched a rebate program to reward solution providers driving higher monthly sales, said Avera. Solution providers meeting a sales quota of $25,000 per month receive a 5 percent rebate.
D-Link's wireless networking business grew 44 percent in the fourth quarter, said Avera. "It's hot," he said. "Once you experience the freedom and productivity that wireless provides you, you will never go back [to LAN based networks."