Cisco hopes to leverage network smarts in Linksys gear

Cisco Systems hopes to bring its advanced networking technology to products from its upcoming acquisition of Linksys Group when it can do so without charging a premium over Linksys' low-end prices, a Cisco executive said Tuesday.

Cisco, the dominant provider of network equipment to large enterprises, last month agreed to buy Linksys, a major vendor of network gear for homes and small businesses. The deal will let it reach small companies and make them Cisco customers when they need more sophisticated networks, said James Richardson, Cisco's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, in an interview at the Cisco Partner Summit in Las Vegas.

The acquisition is not expected to be formalized until Cisco's fourth fiscal quarter, which ends in July, and Linksys will continue to operate as an independent unit after the deal closes. It will remain a low-priced networking brand for small offices, home offices and consumers, Richardson said. However, Cisco is eyeing opportunities to both expand the business and link its products to Cisco's, he added.

Richardson sees Linksys as carrying a label that associates it with Cisco, such as "Linksys, a Cisco company," but the products will remain low-priced and relatively simple to appeal to the company's current customer base. As small companies using Linksys grow into larger enterprises that want more sophisticated capabilities such as higher security, IP (Internet Protocol) telephony or content networking, they'll make the connection and step up to Cisco products, he said.

However, where it doesn't add to the cost, Cisco also is likely to beef up the capabilities of Linksys products, he said.

"I'm never going to put a 10,000-gate ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) in my Linksys router, because it drives the cost out of whack ... However, where we may come up with a chipset that does secure wireless, that code can be shared and it's no incremental cost to Linksys, my assumption will be that we will integrate that technology into that platform," Richardson said. That sort of technology would make the Linksys product compatible with Cisco's wireless product line and also be a strong differentiator for Linksys in the low-end market, he said.

"We're going to leverage as much of Cisco at a low cost as we can," Richardson said.

Cisco also intends to expand the line into countries outside North America where possible, working through Cisco's foreign units, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?