Having both a Head of Sales and a Country Manager in place in Canada at the same time is part of a general surge in resources devoted to Canada as part of D&H’s BFG initiative.
D&H Canada has announced the appointment of David Stephens as their new vice president of sales. He was most recently director of channels at Schneider Electric Canada, where he was responsible for nationwide partner relationships around Schneider Electric Canada’s secure power division. Previous to that, he was a long-time executive at Lenovo Canada, including a stint as director of sales for the Lenovo reseller channel.
Stephens’ position is not a new one, but a replacement for an executive who left the company. It takes place however within the context of an aggressive strategy of expansion by D&H within Canada, which itself is part of the broader company’s “BFG” [Built for Growth] initiative. Its Canadian component began late last fall with the appointment of Michelle Biase as General Manager of D&H Canada. Since the retirement of Greg Tobin in 2019, this was the first time the GM role had been filled, with country leadership since then being handled by the head of sales in Canada.
“I just passed my three and a half months with D&H,” Biase told ChannelBuzz. I have been focused on executing our BFG long term strategy. We have spent that time expanding our resources in Canada. We signed a number of new vendors we will be announcing over the next few months, and are working on bringing new reseller programs to market. We also focused on working with our internal teams to understand we can accelerate our process improvements.”
Other net-new roles are being added in Canada.
“We are currently recruiting for a Director of Inside sales, and will add additional sales resources, and ones to support additional vendor resources,” Biase said. “It’s a new position for D&H Canada. Those roles have been in the U.S. in the past. The inside sales relationship is critical for partner services, because they help partners with tech recommendations and handle the day-to-day interaction between partners and D&H.”
Biase also noted that having both a GM and a Director of Sales in Canada at the same time also means investing in additional resources and demonstrates the company’s commitment to its strategy.
“My role since I was appointed was really focused on driving our structure on the path to being a billion-dollar distributor,” she said. “David’s role will be to identify ways partners can help us grow in the market. His role is focused on leading the sales organization to grow the partner community. His prior roles at both Schneider Electric and Lenovo give a very deep understanding of the channel and how they are trying to transform their business.”
“It’s important to understand what we are doing right and what can be done better,” Stephens said. “There is room to improve relationships with partners and get deeper and broader with our partners.”
“He will be able to continue to expand these relationships because what he brings is additional knowledge of partners from a different perspective,” Biase said.
“My work at both Lenovo and Schneider Electric were both very focused on the partner community, with the Schneider Electric channel being a little bit broader than the Lenovo one,” Stephens stated.
Expansion upwards in the market is a key part of the strategy.
“D&H’s history in Canada is mainly midmarket and SMB, and we definitely have strong ties there,” Biase said. “Over the last couple years, we have definitely expanded the types of partner relationships we have, with more in the retail community and more larger VARs. We are seeing significant growth in that larger VAR community – 3x in the Canadian market.”