15 December 2017

INTERVIEW: TP-Link's Lino Notaro

Over the years, we've been kept up to date with the latest in networking and smart home kit thanks to TP-Link. To get an idea of how the companies, and their plans for the future, we chat to the company's UK Retail Sales Director, Lino Notaro.

Hello. Who are you?

Hi, I’m Lino Notaro the Retail Sales Director for TP-Link.

And what do you do?

Part of my job involves working with high street retailers to recommend the right TP-Link products for their stores, to suit their customer demographic and ensure that customers have the best range of Networking & Smart Home solutions to choose from. The choices would vary between features and functionality, through to price, all offering great value for money and reliable performance.

I also work closely with the retailer marketing teams to develop seasonal promotions that will be attractive & relevant to customers. Additionally I’m responsible for a small team of account managers who look after the remainder of our major Retail customers.

Tell us how you got started in that.

Oh goodness. My career managing UK retailers within the tech industry started in 1991, working for a Computer Games distributor in Northampton.

Those were the days of the Sega Megadrive & Sonic the Hedgehog, along with the Commodore Amiga with floppy disks !!…how things have changed.

What is an average day like for you?

A typical day may begin with ‘prepping’ a new range presentation for a forthcoming customer meeting. Always keen to keep up with the latest sales data, I would review the latest sales performance at Retail to keep on top of our best performing lines.

Also, a detailed catch up with my Retail team as to their latest plans and objectives for the coming quarter to identify the next business development opportunities, and finishing off the day with some retail store visits to ensure we maintain our product presence on shelf.

Where do you see Smart Home industry going in the near future, and how might you have to adapt?

The real value of the smart home comes from interoperability and the wider ecosystem of associated products. A great example is the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers. As they stand, they are really good products, offering customers superb usability. However, when you add other Smart products and skills, the user experience becomes a whole lot better.

For example, all of TP-Link’s range of Smart bulbs and Smart plugs work with the Echo and Google Home. This means when you get home with arms laden full of Christmas shopping, you can simply say ‘Alexa – lounge lights on’ and as if by magic your lights come on. I find this one particularly useful for the Christmas tree lights, the plug socket is always behind the tree, so I always use a smart plug so I can either use the Kasa app or Alexa to turn the lights on and off, so I don’t have to disturb the presents under the tree.

As we have seen there is no end to the smart home possibilities. We also need to be mindful that these Wi-Fi connected devices do not come with any kind of malware or anti-virus protection, leaving our homes potentially vulnerable to malicious attack. Products like the TP-Link Deco M5 that includes HomeCare, a security solution built into the router means that all the devices connecting to your network are protected rather than having to secure each device individually. Think of it like Captain America’s shield protecting your home devices to keep personal data, identity, precious photos and music files safe and sound.

What advice would you offer to someone keen to follow in your footsteps?

Always listen to your customers, try to understand your market, and pay attention to detail, as getting the commercial proposition right for the end consumer is key to success at Retail.

Apart from your own products, what kind of gadget would you like to see being reviewed on The Test Pit?

The growth of AI is going to be huge over the next five years. I was recently watching a documentary about how robots are used in Japan, and how you can get emotionally attached to them…which blew my mind! I would therefore love to see The Test Pit review the latest walking robot who can be ‘my buddy’….when no-one is home.  

Cheers Lino - we'll get cracking on that.

Find out more about TP-Link's products at uk.tp-link.com

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