Linksys readies Cisco trade-up plan

Linksys plans to roll out a Cisco trade-up programme across EMEA in the next few months. The scheme, already up and running in the US, offers SMB customers a smooth and financially pain free migration path from Linksys to Cisco kit.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  March 14, 2005

Wireless networking vendor Linksys plans to roll out a Cisco trade-up programme across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in the next few months. The scheme, already up and running in the US, offers small and medium business (SMB) customers a smooth and financially pain free migration path from Linksys to Cisco kit. David J. Kelly, EMEA sales director at Linksys explained how the scheme is put together: “In the next three months we plan to bring the Linksys trade-up to Cisco programme to EMEA. This means SMBs can use Linksys as a stepping-stone. As their business grows and their network requirements grow, we are making it easier for them to upgrade to a Cisco box.” “If between 90 days and three years after the purchase of Linksys kit the customer decides to upgrade their access point or switches to Cisco, there is a trade-in facility available,” continued Kelly. “They can trade in the Linksys product and we reimburse them as a rebate the price of the initial investment they made.” Linksys, which has recruited some 350 value-added resellers (VARs) across the region since launching its Middle East operation just over a year ago, reckons that this scheme allows it to stand out from the crowd in the wireless networking vendor landscape. “Linksys is part of Cisco and this means that combined, the company is the only network vendor that scales from a single user right through to the largest enterprise. That is a very strong message to channel partners,” added Kelly. Linksys’ sales in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) have been growing at a fast pace, easily outstripping the overall EMEA growth rate. The vendor plans to put the finishing touches to its MEA distribution model during 2005 including the appointment of a new distributor covering the Maghreb region. “We have Tech Data working out of Dubai, Silicon21 in Egypt, Logicom in the Levant and Al Jammaz in Saudi Arabia,” said Kelly. “Westcon is working with Linksys in South Africa. The plan is to appoint sub-distributors to cover sub-Saharan Africa and have them buying from Westcon.” Linksys will work hard to develop its four-pronged channel strategy even further during 2005. As well as its VAR and retail channels, Linksys is also looking to build up its relationships with service providers. The vendor is also keeping a close eye on the embryonic Middle East e-commerce sector as this route-to-market develops. Tech Data celebrated a successful year of channel development by inviting more than 100 members of the regional Linksys reseller community for an evening cruise on Dubai Creek. As well as presentations from Linksys executives, reseller awards were handed out to top performing partners. Oman Computer Services picked up the VAR of the year award while Cosmos Micro Computer Centre grabbed retailer of the year. The best newcomer award went to New Trend Computer Network. Datasat Computer Technology secured the reseller of the year accolade.

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