It took less than 90 days for well-known channel executive Greg Milkovich to find his next challenge.
Milkovich, the former general manager of NEC Canada and Samsung Canada, is the new country manager for Belkin Canada.
It was just late February when Milkovich, in a surprise move, resigned from Samsung Canada in what he called an amicable split because of a difference in management philosophy.
Los Angeles-based Belkin is a connectivity products vendor, which also carries accessories for iPods and XM satellite radios.
“This is an exciting and tremendous growth opportunity for me and for Belkin. We have a product line that is expansive in both commercial and in retail. We are a known brand for the iPod and other cable accessories. But, now we have a lineup that is across KVM, power surge and other products for the commercial and retail space,” Milkovich said.
This opportunity for Milkovich came literally days after his resignation from Samsung. A recruiter, among others, brought the opportunity to Milkovich. He chose Belkin because he felt it was a good fit for both himself and the company.
He admitted that he has a huge challenge ahead of him turning a five-person company into a strong channel player.
Alvina Usher, manager, corporate IT services for Sona Computer Inc. of Ottawa, expects Belkin to be more concentrated on the channel with the hire of Milkovich.
“Today, they are out of reach of the channel. We don’t see their reps and I know Greg with his channel experience is going to build a channel for Belkin and get out to us,” Usher said.
She added that Belkin will shortly have a new channel program and that Milkovich will enhance its channel awareness.
Milkovich disclosed that he has two mandates for Belkin in the early days. The first is to increase Belkin’s brand with end users and the channel. “I want Belkin to be known for more than just a cable solutions company,” he said.
With that, he wants to establish more partnerships in retail and commercial with the channel. Currently, it is more of a transactional relationship and he admits it needs to be more face-to-face.
One of the company’s key products is a wireless networking solution that competes with D-Link and Linksys/Cisco. “People do not know us as a networking company and I have to drive more relationships and launch a reseller partner program,” he said.
Belkin does have a U.S.-based program called Margin Maker. Milkovich said he would like to offer a similar plan for Canada by the end of Belkin’s third quarter.
Milkovich said that Belkin is a privately-held firm that has reached US$1 billion in revenue and has been growing at a 25 per cent clip over the past eight years.
Milkovich said that he would be growing the subsidiary’s head count to take advantage of the growth opportunity in the Canadian market.
One of the new people at Belkin is former SMC Canada GM Angelo Kociper, who will be leading the vendor’s channel efforts in Canada.
“I’m looking forward to building a team with Greg. Belkin is going into new areas such as the channel and we want to get to the VAR community and support them for Belkin,” Kociper said.