UPDATE: D-Link Names New Channel Chief

Formerly vice president of market development at D-Link, DiFrenna now oversees all of the Fountain Valley, Calif.-based networking vendor's channel sales and service provider initiatives. His new title is vice president of channel sales for the United States and Mexico.

DiFrenna told CRN that developing new channel strategies and recruiting new VARs are at the top of his list of priorities as channel chief. To that end, he said one of his first orders of business will be to complete D-Link's plan to double the number of outside channel representatives, call center personnel and field engineers before the end of the year.

The staffing increase likely will lead to a refreshed channel program, DiFrenna added. "Through more collaboration with our VARs, I would say to expect an enhancement and a refinement of the channel program," he said.

DiFrenna said he also aims to fortify relationships with service providers and promote more collaboration between VARs and 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 like IP cameras, wireless routers and storage devices.

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DiFrenna's involvement with service/content providers such as AOL and Yahoo form a big part of his background with D-Link. In that area, he increased D-Link's business 47 percent year over year in the first quarter, the company said.

In addition, DiFrenna said he plans to make it easier for all types of partners to do business with D-Link by providing aggressively priced products, incentive-based programs and promotions for D-Link VARs, as well as top-notch technical, marketing and sales support. As much as 80 percent of D-Link's sales run through the channel, according to the company.

D-Link's broader strategy is twofold: Boost its share in the market for IP-based wireless devices, and move farther upstream from its traditional consumer and small-business waters into the enterprise market, according to President and CEO Steven Joe, who added that he sees Cisco Systems as a main competitor.

D-Link already is giving Cisco subsidiary Linksys, which sells IP-based wireless networking gear to the consumer and SOHO markets, a run for its money. Last year, D-Link grew its market share 42 percent year over year, compared with 38 percent growth by Linksys, according to Synergy Research Group.