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Zyxel’s David Soares: VARs Need More Help to Compete with e-Commerce

Q&A

Small VARs are the “sweet spot” for Zyxel Communications, a provider of secure broadband networking, internet access and connected home products, and the company wants to do all it can to help them better compete with e-commerce.

That’s according to David Soares, formerly with Netgear, who has been appointed Zyxel’s vice president of North American sales. He brings 28 years of experience as a senior business executive in the IT industry to drive awareness and growth of Zyxel’s channel business among SMBs and service providers in North America.

Soares was appointed Netgear’s general manager and senior vice president of its retail business unit in 2011, and then left the company in 2014 to travel for three years and has now returned to the channel. Prior to Netgear, he spent 12 years in management with Hayes Modems.

“We believe that the extensive experience and knowledge that David brings to our team is truly a game-changer for our business,” stated Howie Chu, CEO of Zyxel North America. “David’s experience in leading other companies in our industry through various stages of their growth, building them from startups to leading global brands will be instrumental in taking our business to the next level across our consumer, SMB and service provider business units.”

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Soares talks about his plans for big changes to Zyxel’s partner program and how he wants to help VARs deliver more services to their customers.

Channel Partners: What made you decide to join Zyxel?

Zyxel's David Soares

Zyxel’s David Soares

David Soares: One is that, although it is a well-established company, it had on the channel side … that startup feel to it and it was a small team. And two, there’s an environment where I felt I could really make a difference, and help them adapt to changes going on in the market and therefore grow the business, and help our channel partners succeed as well because there’s a lot of changes happening for partners, especially for VARs. So there are things I want to do to try to help VARs become more competitive in the market and perhaps change the the types of services that they’re providing to their customers so they can be more successful in the face of e-commerce, which is the big competing channel for the VARs. And I know some of them are finding it difficult competing with eCommerce, which is understandable.

CP: What is your take on Zyxel’s channel strategy? Are changes needed?

DS: Yes, changes are needed. Like many other companies, you can segment our channel into three different sections: VARs, e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail. We don’t sell a lot in brick-and-mortar retail…

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