Having made its name as a supplier of networking equipment to the education sector, D-Link Networks Canada is now setting its sites on a new market: the public sector. And it’s going to need reseller help to make he mission a success.
Marisol S. Omand, the new channel marketing manager with D-Link Networks Canada, says earlier this year the company was awarded a Departmental Individual Standing Offer (DISO) from Public Works and Government Services Canada. Only companies with a DISO can sell to the federal government, and previously Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks were the only networking companies on the list.
“All of the federal agencies that buy switches go to the DISO, look at the list of products available, and choose from that list,” said Omand. “Since we’ve been awarded the contract we’re able to put our products on that list.”
Omand sees the DISO as a major opportunity for D-Link in Canada, and one the company is moving swiftly to capitalize on.
“We feel that’s a huge untapped market for us,” she said. “In the past we’ve played in the educational market a lot but now we feel that, because our products are really robust and feature rich, we’re able to address the needs of other sectors.”
In Canada, rather than deal directly with channel partners D-Link has traditionally relied on the major distributors, including Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Synnex, to move its products to partners and to market. However, because of the DISO contract Omand said D-Link has authorized a few select resellers directly to target the public sector.
Outside the public sector, however, Omand said D-Link remains committed to working with the major Canadian distributors.
“We’re recruiting other resellers selling to the government, but in terms of major channel distribution we remain steadfast,” said Omand. “We will sell our products through the major distributors, who will in turn sell to the resellers.”
When it comes to tackling the public sector opportunity though, Omand said D-Link is looking for resellers that are already doing business with the government that would like to expand their solution portfolios. By augmenting their Cisco solutions with D-Link products, she said, resellers can stretch dollars further and deliver a more robust solution for the same price.
“We’re not saying we’ll be replacing Cisco,” she said. “We can work with Cisco in some instillations.”
Moving to IPv6
Last week, D-Link announced two new switches in its xStack 3600 switch family that are expected to begin shipping shortly. The Layer 3 Gigabit switches offer support for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and 10-Gigabit copper or fiber connections.
“The Layer 3 switches we’re launching are replacing some of our old Layer 3 switches,” said Omand. “We’re enhancing the look and feel of our products, and adding more functionality.”
The move from IPv4 to IPv6 will provide a great deal more MAC addresses to support the increasing number of IP-based products residing in the typical network, and Omand said the switches will be targeted at the education and government sectors.
“D-Link is very well known for offering high-value, performance products,” said Omand. “We compete with the tier one switch manufacturers like Cisco, Nortel, HP and 3Com, but our reason for being is we’re half the price of a Cisco product.”