New D-Link Channel Chief Puts Priorities In Order

DiFrenna last week was appointed vice president of channel sales for the United States and Mexico following a stint as vice president of market development at D-Link, Fountain Valley, Calif.

Topping DiFrenna&s list of priorities in his new post are developing and adding new channel strategies and recruiting new VARs, he said.

To do this, DiFrenna said he will complete D-Link&s current plan to “double” the number of outside channel representatives, call center personnel and field engineers before the end of the year. The net result of the staffing increase will likely be a newly polished channel program, he said.

“Through more collaboration with our VARs, I would say to expect an enhancement and a refinement of the channel program,” he added.

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Upon hearing the news, Rene Murillo, general manager of WYSIWYG the Computer Center, a D-Link Diamond Business Solutions Partner in Miami who does more than $75,000 in D-Link sales per quarter, said he&d like to see better discounting for school and government contracts.

“We&d like an increase in discounts especially for E-Rates [Education Rates], which is a federal program for schools, particularly in poor sections of town,” said Murillo.

DiFrenna said he plans to make it easier for partners of all types to do business with D-Link. Aggressively priced products, incentive-based programs, promotions for D-Link VARs, and technical, marketing and sales support will all play a part in achieving this goal, he said. As much as 80 percent of D-Link sales run through the channel, according to the vendor. Increased collaboration between VARs and service providers, particularly at the consumer level, is something DiFrenna intends to leverage from his new post, he said.

DiFrenna embarks on his new mission at D-Link with a background heavy in involvement with service/content providers such as AOL and Yahoo. In that area, he increased D-Link&s business 47 percent year over year in the first quarter, the company said.

DiFrenna said he intends to further enhance D-Link&s relationships with service providers to take advantage of the boom in broadband subscriptions, which would help drive sales of D-Link&s consumer and small-business products, such as IP cameras, wireless routers and storage devices.

D-Link&s broad strategy is twofold: boost its share in the market for networked, IP-based devices, while moving further upstream from its traditional consumer and small-business waters into the enterprise market.