Distributors look for local support from Linksys

Distributors look for local support from Linksys

Linksys distributors are confident they will be able to wrestle some market share from rivals Netgear and D-Link following the acquisition of the low-end networking vendor by industry giant Cisco.

According to its distributors, Linksys' Australian market potential has been seriously hobbled by a lack of investment and commitment to local marketing and technical support. They hope that things will change under the umbrella of Cisco. Without local representation they claim Linksys has allowed rivals Netgear and D-Link to secure the high ground and the lion's share of the market despite the brand's very strong presence in major Asian markets and the US.

"Netgear and D-Link currently own the lower end networking market in Australia," Ingram Micro's storage, networking and security business manager, Rod Thorne, said. "We think it would be good for Linksys to have some improved representation here.

"With the brand now under the umbrella of Cisco, I'd be a bit worried if I was Netgear and D-Link. All we need to have is some local commitment to marketing and technical support and we would be able to substantially push the brand along."

In the short term it appears there will be little change to the way the products are currently pushed through the channel in Australia. Currently there is no country manager in Australia with distributors left to fend for themselves while the operations are managed from the Singapore headquarters of the company.

An email to local distributors from Cindy Low, a Singapore-based product manager for Linksys, which was sighted by ARN said it was "situation normal" and that there would be "two individual channels" for Linksys and Cisco.

"We will continue to do business with our partners as we do today with the same go-to-market strategies as has been previously successful both for us and our valued channel partners," the email said.

Cisco's local channel operations director, Kip COle, confirmed that it would be "business as usual" for the short term at least.

For the full story, please see the next issue of ARN.

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