A local Cisco manager has confirmed the networking giant will combine its Australian Linksys and Cisco partner programs as part of a global initiative to unite the two channels.
Cisco SMB regional sales manager, Sara Adams, said the change was about giving both types of partners better access to small business products and partner benefits.
"Consolidating the programs allows Linksys partners to access the broader range of Cisco programs and have one point of contact for both organisations and the entire portfolio of small business products," she said.
Adams said there were about 800 Australian Linksys partners but less than 10 per cent of them were currently registered with Cisco.
Linksys partners will have until September 16 to get on-board Cisco's partner program, but Adams said those that don't will still be able to buy small business products. Partners will need to register online and agree to Cisco's terms and conditions in order to qualify.
"We will make a concerted effort to contact each Linksys partner and inform them of the benefits of Cisco," she said. "We expect there will be a lot of new partners getting to know Cisco for the first time."
Adams said there would be no changes to its distributor line-up. Both products lines are distributed through Ingram Micro, Express Data and Westcon Group. Linksys-only distributor, Multimedia Technology, will continue stocking Linksys products but now directly deal through Cisco.
As part of the channel change Linksys' four small business staff have been transitioned into Cisco's small business team.
Adams said Linksys regional manager, Graham Reardon, will continue to manage the Linksys consumer business and distribution programs. The Linksys unit will also continue to work with its retail partners on its consumer go-to-market strategy.
The global directive comes 12 months after Linksys announced new SMB partner programs and began aligning its channel with Cisco's . It also coincides with the vendor's decision to integrate its global product development teams.