• United States
by Steve Taylor and Larry Hettick

Cisco-Linksys deal not necessarily about consumers

Apr 21, 20032 mins
Cisco SystemsNetworking

* Cisco claims it bought Linksys for consumer angle - but maybe not

Last month, Cisco announced it would buy Linksys, a maker of wired and wireless gear for SOHO users and consumers. We took a personal interest in the acquisition, since we both use Linksys gear in our own SOHO networks.

We’ve used Linksys devices for setting up our respective offices, using a four-port firewall/router/Ethernet switch on our broadband connections. We’ve also used the voice adapter to send voice-over-IP calls using the Net2Phone service. And we’ve recently gone wireless, using a Linksys 802.11 device to provide wireless connectivity to our computers.

Following this unsurprising announcement, we came up with a slant not necessarily in line with the official Cisco press release.

The official announcement stated that the acquisition was in support of Cisco’s “vision to drive innovations into the consumer market.” While we don’t begrudge Cisco for entering the consumer market, we don’t really believe that Cisco is going to be selling home appliances anytime soon.

Rather, we believe Cisco is following the enterprise trend of extending corporate VPNs to home-office users. The trend of traditional cube dwellers working at home is definitely on the upswing – and will continue to grow. Ten years ago, “working at home” implied the teleworker was goofing off. Now working from a home office is a widely accepted business practice.

It seems Cisco can kill two birds with one stone – get in with an established player like Linksys to enter the stand-alone consumer and SOHO markets, and extend the products to the corporate enterprise wise enough to support the teleworker.