D-Link revamps channel program as Canadian leader joins executive exodus

Following the departure of several senior executives in December, including former North American president Nick Tidd, networking vendor D-Link has re-branded and made several enhancements to its channel partner program.

The partner program changes come as CDN has learned that Mark Ciprietti, vice-president and general manager, business solutions for D-Link Canada, has joined the recent management exodus from the company. A veteran of the Canadian channel community, Ciprietti joined D-Link Canada in 2009 to replace Nick Tidd, who had been promoted to a North American leadership position at the company. Ciprietti came to the vendor from Insight Canada, after stops at NexInnovations and Metafore.

Tidd, who went on to become D-Link’s North American president, left the vendor in December along with several senior executives. In an interview with CDN after his departure, Tidd hinted at differences of opinion around the go-forward strategy between his team and senior managers at the Taiwanese networking vendor.

“Sometimes a company looks for different ways and different directions to go to market, and sometimes it necessitates a change,” said Tidd. “Myself and several of my key folks have decided to part ways, but we’ve positioned them well for success.”

In an interview before CDN learned of Ciprietti’s departure, Steve Ryan, director of North American channel programs for D-Link, said the recent executive departures have had no impact on D-Link’s Canadians operations. A request for comment from D-Link on Ciprietti’s departure and possible replacement was not returned.

“There’s been no change in direction,” said Ryan. “I hope the enhancements we’re putting into the program now show we’re continuing in that direction. in Canada, there’s been very little impact from a lot of the (management) changes.”

Introducing VIP+

In a series of program reforms that Ryan said was in development before the recent executive departures, and will come into effect Feb. 7, D-Link’s channel program has been re-branded as VIP+. The goal with all the changes, said Ryan, is to enhance partner profitability and make D-Link easier to do business with.

Enhancements to the program include a new simplified partner portal, an enhanced rewards program with merchandise and re-loadable Visa cards, a new campaigns tool with customizable marketing materials, a new e-learning program with quizzes and the opportunity to earn reward program points, and new personalized information on the portal landing page.

“We wanted to give partners a quick ‘in and out’ experience where they can find everything they need in a few clicks, because we know they deal with a lot of manufacturers,” said Ryan.

The new rewards program will see claims processed quicker by integrating invoices with distribution partners, and Ryan said the new marketing tools will be very beneficial for smaller partners that don’t have their own marketing departments.

“Nothing has been taken away from the old program; it’s all enhancements,” said Ryan. “We’re already looking at the next round of enhancements and looking forward to partner feedback.”

The VIP+ program is expanding to Europe as well and, while the Canadian portal remains English-only, Ryan said French-language support is on the radar.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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