Where is D-Link heading?
The IP market continues to grow, and we are in the right industry. In the past 7 years, we have grown 25 percent every year, and in emerging markets such as the Middle East the growth has been more than 50%. We are enjoying high growth in almost all product categories, especially wireless and well-entrenched in telcos, SMBs and enterprise markets, not to mention our traditional consumer networking market. We have the full spectrum of IP-centric products and are well positioned to address the market requirements.
What is your vision for the company?
We are making a transition from product-focused company to a solution driven company. Our core competency is IP and we understand it better than our competitors, including the big ones. We have a strong geographical coverage and work closely with vendors such as Microsoft and Intel for different applications.
What differentiates D-Link? Will price remain the key differentiator for you?
Not just the price. We have a strong background in R&D, tech support, local support. We offer the whole package, starting from pre-sales consultancy, after-sales support and service level agreements. With a strong service background and more local support for our channels, we are confident we will double our growth in the next three years.
Can you tell us a bit about your Green initiatives?
We have an R&D team focused on making our products more environment friendly and energy efficient. In fact, D-Link was the first company to introduce Gigabit Ethernet switches with green technology, way back in 2007. These switches are able to tell when a port is inactive, and can cut back their power usage accordingly. Another interesting capability of the switches is the ability to analyze the length of any Ethernet cables connected to them – and adjust the power accordingly. Shorter lengths don't require as much power. With the energy and costs savings the technology can deliver, there's simply no excuse for organizations not to migrate to energy-optimizing network solutions.
Are your Green Ethernet plans different from IEEE’s energy-efficient Ethernet plans?
Yes our plans separate, but we will incorporate the IEEE-EEE specs when they become available. Green Ethernet technology is particularly relevant to Gigabit Ethernet switches, as they generate more heat than slower varieties. Reducing a switch's power consumption could also extend its lifespan. D-Link is taking its green initiative as far as it can, qualifying its adapters for the Energy Star program, making boxes out of recycled materials, and more.
You have a strong presence in both consumer and SME markets. How different are these markets?
The market dynamics are definitely different. However, we see the lines are blurring between consumer and business technologies. Mobile phone is a case in point. It is a consumer device and a productivity-enhancing enterprise tool as well. It all depends on applications.
Are there any particular products or markets where you see most growth?
We are very bullish about the digital home market and the fixed mobile convergence domain. For us, the next wave of growth will come from IP surveillance, storage, digital signage, while we continue to growth the traditional business in Ethernet switches and wireless.
Are you worried about Cisco’s increasing push into the consumer technologies space?
The culture, dynamics and channel model are completely different in that space. I don’t think Cisco channel, which enjoys higher margins, will want to play in a low margins, high volumes consumer market. No one in the retail knows Cisco, but they know about Linksys. Phasing out that brand might cause problems for Cisco.