SAN JOSE, Calif., August 12, 2008 - As a natural evolution of the Cisco® small and medium-sized business (SMB) go-to-market strategy, Cisco today announced that it is incorporating the Linksys® Small-Business Channel Partner Program services and assets into the award-winning Cisco Channel Partner Program. This process includes bringing the Linksys Business Series products into the Cisco SMB portfolio and providing Cisco channel partners with access to a more diverse solution set to allow for more choice and increased revenue potential.
"We have been hoping that Cisco would merge the two channel partner programs into a unified SMB partner program that would span products, services and support," said Dan Schwab, president of D&H Distributing, a Cisco distribution partner that specializes on the SMB market in the United States and Canada. "A single Cisco relationship will definitely mitigate challenges and simplify how we do business with our channel partner community. Quite simply, the whole is more than the sum of the parts for Cisco and Linksys."
"The SMB market continues to present tremendous growth potential for Cisco and our channel partners, and we have been successfully serving the sector with solutions from both Cisco and Linksys," said Andrew Sage, vice president of Small Business Sales, Worldwide Channels at Cisco. "We believe that taking a coordinated approach across technology and go-to-market strategies is a natural evolution that brings greater synergies to our customers and channel partners alike. This includes an array of channel program benefits to meet the broad requirements presented by our partners' customer base, all designed to increase revenue potential and enable us to focus collectively on serving the SMB customer."
The SMB channel and technology integration represents a broader company focus on the SMB opportunity with an increased focus on the small-business segment of the SMB market. Earlier this summer, Cisco established a Small Business Council to align the company's small-business strategy and go-to-market across all functions globally. The council was created to ensure that our small business customers and channel partners have access to the most comprehensive and innovative range of technology solutions in the communications industry. The Small Business Council is led by three Cisco veterans: Sue Bostrom, chief marketing officer and executive vice president; Keith Goodwin, the senior vice president of Worldwide Channels and Ian Pennell, the senior vice president of the Small Business Technology Group.
The Linksys Partner Connection Transition
More than 20,000 Linksys global channel partners will have the opportunity to become part of the Cisco Channel Partner Program. To help ensure continuous access to resources and tools, Linksys Partner Connection (LPC) members have until September 16, 2008, to become Cisco Registered Channel Partners. Cisco channel partner benefits include, but are not limited to, access to demo equipment, financial incentives, sales support via Small Business Market Managers, lead generation via the SMB website on Cisco.com, and access to marketing resources such as Cisco Campaign Builder, and Cisco Partner Central.
Cisco and Linksys are committed to making this a seamless transition for channel partners and have developed a phased approach to support the integration. Linksys channel partners have been provided with the steps needed to ensure a smooth entrance into the Cisco Channel Partner Program, which includes obtaining a user identification number and password for program access and a registration form that takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Related channel partner approvals will be granted within 48 hours of submission. Additional details and more information can be found at: www.cisco.com/go/linksyspartner.
This SMB channel partner program expansion does not affect the Linksys consumer sales efforts. Linksys will remain focused as a Cisco division charged with developing consumer-focused solutions found through retail and online storefronts.