Editor's Note: As part of our special editorial relationship, CRN UK is publishing this recent article from Channelnomics.
The Linksys brand will undergo a revival under the new Belkin ownership.
The company best known for its computer peripherals says it will operate Linksys as a separate brand, with its own go-to-market strategies and channels.
Belkin's move to retain the Linksys brand means one of the more popular monikers in the channel will no longer labor in the shadows of the massive brand of its former owner, Cisco Systems.
Over the last two years, Cisco has been steadily shedding consumer and SMB product and divisions to refocus on midmarket and enterprise solutions. Linksys, which makes mostly consumer-grade and SMB networking and wireless products, is the last major division in this category.
When Cisco bought Linksys in 2003 for $500m, it initially took the same strategy of operating it as a wholly owned but separate division. For several years, Cisco and Linksys partners would compete for business despite the corporate ties of the two brands. It wasn't until 2006 that Cisco started integrating its channels, allowing Linksys partners to sell Cisco products and Cisco partners to sell Linksys products.
Around the same time, though, Cisco started deemphasizing the Linksys brand. It started releasing Cisco-branded products that competed with Linksys gear as well as rebranding some products as Cisco with subordinating language acknowledging the original design was Linksys. The plan was to eventually phase out the Linksys brand in favor of Cisco.
Belkin closed the acquisition of Linksys last week for an undisclosed sum. In addition to retaining the Linksys brand, it hopes to retain as many Linksys employees as possible but concedes some layoffs may happen. The amount Belkin paid for Linksys is undisclosed.
Belkin says it will look for cross-sell opportunities between its and Linksys products.
While Belkin has consumer and SMB networking and wireless products, it also has a broad range of other peripheral and accessory products, including Web cameras, cables, tablet and smartphone cases, and power supplies.
The plan to revive the Linksys brand could mean a surge of channel activity as the company looks to untangle solution providers from the Cisco channel network and develop its own structures for partner-based go-to-market strategies, partner training and enablement, and channel field support.
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