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#8 Newsmaker: Mark Ciprietti of D-Link Canada

Taking over for Nick Tidd, Ciprietti continued to build D-Link's channel in Canada as the vendor set out to compete with the big boys of networking

When he took over D-Link Canada, Nick Tidd set out to reintroduce the networking equipment vendor to the Canadian market and reinvent the company’s culture to make it a channel-first company. With Tidd rewarded for his efforts early in 2010 with a promotion to president of D-Link North America, Tidd passed the reigns in Canada to former Insight Canada vice-president Mark Ciprietti.

As D-Link Canada’s new vice-president and general manager of business solutions sales, Ciprietti set out to fill the market void left with Nortel’s departure from the marketplace, Avaya’s evolving focus, the HP/3Com acquisition still shaking-out and Cisco Systems’ pricing.

Seeking to shed its image as just the $99 router company, D-Link was front and centre at Interop this year to announce a new portfolio of enterprise-class products, along with a new partner program that will better support the channel as it takes the new offerings up-market.

The new Value in Partnership (VIP) program includes enhancements around deal registration, the Bounty Rewards program, and increased marketing support.

As D-Link moves up to market into a competitive enterprise networking market, butting heads with companies with the install base of a Cisco and the portfolio breadth of an HP, as well as aggressive gainers such as Avaya, D-Link sees its competitive pricing model as a major advantage, as well as its open architecture that allows its offerings to be plugged anywhere into the network.

What’s key for the channel, said Ciprietti, is that the cost of entry is not expensive with D-Link.