Huawei Canada Slowly Building Channel Strength

Darren Hamilton, channel account manager at Huawei Canada

Darren Hamilton, channel account manager at Huawei Canada

Huawei Canada continues to slowly build its presence in the channel in Canada, signing a new distribution deal with Capella Telecommunications and courting new types of solution providers.

The China-based networking giant announced its third distribution agreement in this country with Capella, a Peterbourough, Ont.-based distributor focused on cable, telco, broadcast, utility, and unified communications market, the latest part of its effort to expand its network of partners in this country.

“They’re a true value-added distributor, and a fantastic partner for us because of their ability to deliver solutions, and go into some key markets for us,” said Darren Hamilton, channel account manager at Huawei Canada.

One of the key goals for the new pact is to bring aboard new partners, but Hamilton also said the distributor can help Huawei round out some of the solutions its partners can offer by introducing portions from complementary vendors. It’s also an area in which the Huawei name is familiar, more commonly seen than in the Canadian enterprise networking market writ large. Hamilton said the initial focus will be on finding partners with strength in education, and with both serving and acting as service providers.

“There’s a great opportunity in that space, and it’s an area of initial focus, but our product set goes way beyond that,” Hamilton said. Huawei will be clearly looking to new markets and new verticals, and will build out a network of new partners to approach those opportunities.

Currently, the company has a small number of resellers in the Canadian market, but Hamilton says he sees that growing to a network of 50-75 solution providers in a year’s time, and likely three to four times that number in the long term.

“They key for us is making sure we’ve got the right resources to support and manage partners. We want to maintain a high touch with our partners, and we want to make sure we’ve got the right programs and right processes in pace to grow with them,” Hamilton said.

By keeping “a manageable number of partners,” Hamilton hopes that high-touch approach will allow the vendor to be more valuable to its partners – as he puts it, to “add value to their business as well as them adding value to ours.”

Bringing aboard Hamilton – who’s been with Huawei for about six months after a long-time role as channel manager for HP Canada’s networking business, was an important step for Huawei in starting to build out a Canadian channel networking, providing the vendor a face familiar to many of its prospective solution providers. Now, it’s a matter of scaling it.

“It’s continuously a work in project, Hamilton said of building a channel at Huawei. “We’ve made really good strides, but we’re moving at a pace that’s commensurate with our size and our resources. We’re looking for value partners, folks who will be purveyors of the brand, who have established themselves with the right certifications and the right value propositions.

Capella is the third distributor Huawei Canada has signed up with, joining Synnex Canada and CTDI.