Linksys and Cisco: The War for Your Network Begins Again

When you turn your water on to take a shower, do you consider, “hmmm…I wonder what brand of pipe the water is powering through”. Nope. You turn the water on and enjoy the shower.
Networking is the same for many small businesses.
You really don’t care which router, hub, switch, or adapter you have as long as it works. Of course for some networking solutions, depending on what you’re doing, you might care but overall any of the popular brands (3COM, HP, Cisco, or others) will be quite fine.
Cisco bought Linksys in 2003 as a way to increase its penetration in the small business market. It was a market leader in the big business space, but other providers such as Linksys, DLink (which 3Com purchased), Netgear, HP and others were big players in the small business space too.
Now, 4 year later, Cisco is sharpening it’s focus to reach small businesses through its brand and that of Linksys.
CRN reports that Cisco Systems is strengthening its attack on the small-business market with the launch of a revamped channel program for its Linksys division later this year.
The thrust of this push is NOT directly to small business owners it’s to your local IT consultant or resellers. The resellers are big influencers of what networking gear is inside the network of a small business.
One huge “block” of influence for example is Microsoft’s Small Business Specialists. These are IT consultants who specialize in serving small businesses and are certified as such, by Microsoft.
The CRN article reads Executives from Cisco, San Jose, Calif., made it clear at this month’s channel conference that the company intends to knock rival SMB-focused vendors off its partners’ line cards. Instead of working with value-priced players such as Hewlett-Packard, 3Com, D-Link Systems and Netgear, Cisco wants partners to add Linksys, its own lower-cost networking line, to their portfolios.
Look at your networking hardware – who powers it.