Linksys and Cisco join forces to crack SMB market

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Linksys and Cisco join forces to crack SMB market

SYDNEY - Linksys and Cisco today revealed their new jointly-developed scalable voice and data solutions for the small business user, which represents the company’s first dedicated offerings of this kind for the market.

According to Linksys senior vice president and general manager, Mike Pocock, Linksys’ new Business Series and Linksys One solutions – part of the Connected Office range – sit alone in an untapped area of the small to medium business (SMB) sector.

“There is no single data and voice vendor that is designing and developing products, programs and services from the ground up specifically for the small business,” he said.

“And with more than 66 million small to medium businesses around the world, we feel we have the right technology and programs with out Connected Office solutions to cater to their needs and requirements that will help them become more productive while saving money and growing their business.”

Linksys new offerings include a range of service routers, handsets and software that allow users to seamlessly transfer their phone calls between their desk handset and their mobile phone, with a single touch of a button, without hanging up the call. Security camera monitoring for larger offices can also be added, along with visual voicemail and email capabilities.

Both companies claim the systems are simple to use, easy to install and will save money on phone bills.

A simple system with one server and four handsets will cost a small company under $2,000, which Anton Prange who runs an IT services company, Intellica and sells Linksys products, believes pays for itself in an extremely short time.

“We had a customer who was paying $1,600 a month on Telstra phone bills, who is now paying $400 a month. The return of investment from purchasing the Linksys products was only three months,” he said.

Linksys regional director, Australia and New Zealand, Graeme Reardon, believes voice and data solutions for the SMB market is an extremely fragmented sector, with Linksys holding approximately 10 per cent of the market, Cisco claiming around 20 per cent, and major competitors each holding around 10 per cent a piece.

“Cisco and Linksys combined has the capacity to take the SMB market, we feel. We have a solution set that small businesses love – with our powers combined, we have a good opportunity here,” said Reardon.

The two companies are also aligning and ramping up their channel partner programs by offering resellers multiple routes to market with two business models and “profitability expectations,” according to Reardon.

“We also have two separate channel programs now – one for consumer and one for SMB. We have created a tiered program that rewards our partners for investing the time to learn about and stock our products,” he said.
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