Feeds

D-Link: Vendors can do more to support channels

Maurice Famularo sings the distie blues

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Local gadget channels arguably suffer just as badly as bookstores from internet parallel importation. Showing off the company’s 2011 product range (first seen at CE) to customers and channel partners yesterday, D-Link’s Australian marketing director Maurice Famularo told El Reg the question of channel support is becoming very thorny for anyone addressing the consumer market.

Customers buying directly over the internet don’t much harm vendors, since they still score the sales. However, down at the local level, it is just as hard for territory managers to meet their own targets as it is for their channel partners.

Vendors can respond by diversifying their channels – something D-Link already has in mind in Australia. Famularo identified two targets for the company during 2011: to expand channel relationships in the electrical installation sector, and to start building channel in the home hi-fi and A/V markets.

Part of D-Link’s response – reflected across the vendor market – is to adapt the products to the kind of channel that will sell or install them. The sparky screwing the IP security camera above the counter of a corner store doesn’t aspire to LAN expertise: instead, the ethernet switch detects the cameras attached to it, creating a VLAN and assigning cameras to it.

While intensely competitive, that market is the beneficiary of conveniently converging drivers: insurers and governments have put a rocket under the security camera market just as older VHS-based systems need replacing.

The home entertainment market is another matter: it’s a highly polarised business, with a gulf between the general consumer and the big spender. Vendors such as D-Link already share (physical) shelf space with the home entertainment sector; it’s the high-end “smart home” system-plus-installation channel that Famularo wants to crack. “We’re talking to that market, but it’s going to take some time,” he said.

Which brings us back to the more traditional tech channel. Both vendors and channel are being forced into adjustment, but what will that adjustment look like?

Part of the adjustment will be one of the Australian channel’s periodic shake-outs, but Famularo also agreed that vendors have to adjust their international pricing strategies. Some costs – international handling and local warranty – are hard to change, which means there will always be buyers willing to bet product quality against warranty support. But too great a gap between Australian and overseas prices is inviting trouble for the local channel.

There is another angle: as vendors increasingly marry product to cloud services, they can play a localisation card that will be hard to beat. It’s a plus and a minus for the vendor.

The Boxee Box, for example, can be localised to the user’s territory (which would seem to provide an angle for channel support). It must be: otherwise it would risk breaching the Byzantine rights deals covering the content it is trying to serve. Compliance, however, means that until D-Link gets all the rights deals in place, the Boxee Box has access to less content than is available to the freetard. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.