Linksys cuts two distributors

Linksys cuts two distributors

Wireless networking vendor, Linksys, has taken a leaf out of its new parent’s book and rationalised its distribution arrangements down to two distributors.

Linksys has severed ties with both Bluechip IT and Digiland, and will focus its energy on remaining distributors Ingram Micro and Multimedia Technology. Its parent company, Cisco, also culled a distributor (Tech Pacific) from its distribution line-up around two months ago to adjust to market conditions.

Regional manager for Cisco’s Linksys business, Brian Allsop, said he needed two distributors that would drive mindshare in the IT channel, and felt that one large broad based distributor with strong Intel ties (Ingram) combined with one specialist distributor (Multimedia) would provide the best fit.

While Linksys enjoys a retail market share of some 50 per cent in the US, and similarly healthy share in Europe and Asia, Australia has been a disappointing market. By the vendor’s own admission, its share of the Australian market is less than one per cent.

The only existing business being done prior to Cisco’s acquisition of the wireless specialist was off the back of the brand awareness Linksys enjoyed in the US, Allsop said.

“Linksys never had an established presence in Australia and the products never took off,” he said.

Allsop is very confident about overcoming this challenge. He sees Australia as an untapped market for Linksys, despite the formidable presence of such vendors as NetGear, D-Link and NetComm.

His initial focus will be on building relationships in the existing Cisco reseller channel, the general retail channel, and the service provider market.

For more on Linksys, see next week's issue of ARN.

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