TP-Link reinvents itself for the channel

Two years after TP-Link entered the Canadian market, the networking vendor has completed a lengthy branding program intended to bring more awareness to the company and attract more solution provider partners.

The new TP-Link brand has been built on a lifestyle theme. The company also has a new corporate identity and tagline: “Reliably Smart”.

During that process, TP-Link essentially found itself and decided to have an SMB focus. The Shenzhen, China founded vendor also expanded its product line and entered the commercial space and the home automation market.

Queenie Tse, the marketing manager for TP-Link Canada Inc. of Richmond Hill, Ont., told CDN people today expect WiFi everywhere whether it’s in a shopping mall, a café or a restaurant. And, the company is better positioned for the Canadian market because this country is made up of predominantly SMB-sized organizations.

Another key differentiator is that TP-Link is an original equipment manufacturer with two plants in China and four other research & development centres around the world (Silicon Valley, Shenzhen, Taiwan, and Hangzhou).

“We are not an ODM and this gives us a supply chain that can respond to solution providers faster with firmware updates as an example,” Tse said.

Before the rebranding, TP-Link concentrated mainly on consumer sector with wireless access points. Now the company has developed a new line of business-enabled network switches, wireless routers and smart home products.

To support this product expansion the company has developed a channel partner program called Partner Advance with a low authorization clip level.

According to Tse, a solution provider only needs $10,000 in sales to become a registered partner and earn four per cent margins. Under Partner Advance a solution provider can graduate to eight points of margin by reaching the $30,000 level.

“The Partner Advance program caters to the SMB business in Canada because they – for the most part – do not have an IT department and the partners can earn incentives in the form of tiered rebates,” she said.

Partner Advance also features network assessments, dedicated support, training, firmware updates, and limited lifetime warranties all at no charge.

Currently TP-Link has approximately 2,000 reseller partners in their network in Canada, but Tse told CDN they are actively looking for more. Of those 2,000 partners the vast majority of them have revenues of under $5 million. Part of the strategy is to work its distribution partners such as Synnex Canada, Ingram Micro Canada, Tech Data Canada, D&H Canada and ASI to attract more channel partners.

Tse added that TP-Link products also provide solution providers with ancillary revenue opportunities. For example, the Captive Portal solution enables a reseller to earn advertising dollars on guest WiFi solutions.

Another new product is the ART Deco system. ART stands for Adaptive Routing Technology. The Deco M5 Whole-Home Wi-Fi Systems is a mesh network that provides wireless Internet coverage along with security from Trend Micro as part of TP-Link HomeCare product.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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