Linksys Announces Enhanced Partner Program
From its 2007 Connected Office Day events around the globe, Linksys® announced the restructuring and intended rollout of the Linksys Partner Connection (LPC) program in August. The LPC has been designed to add technology specialization choices for partners who want to benefit from becoming educated and technically proficient in specific small business solution categories. Additionally, Linksys and Cisco also announced they will align partner programs and initiatives to drive growth and increase efficiencies for channel partners in the small and medium (SMB) business market.
The Linksys Partner Connection (LPC) Program is specifically focused on channel partners who sell and offer Linksys Business Series and Linksys One product families. The program improvements will include a tiering structure (Registered and Business Elite Partner) for specialization in foundation technologies (routing, switching and wireless), storage, voice solutions and Linksys One. New benefits for the LPC program were also developed to reward partners for investing in pre-sales and post-sales resources, technical expertise and ongoing service capabilities to help drive increased partner profitability for selling platform solutions and managed services.
“The improved Linksys Partner Connection Program is a two-tiered partner program that rewards partners for their pre- and post-sales capabilities, ongoing service capabilities as well as their investment in Linksys technical capabilities,” said Nigel Williams, Linksys vice president of the worldwide channels organization. “Linksys Connected Office portfolio of products and solutions offer market relevant features focused on flexibility and simplicity in deployment and use, allowing partners to address the cost-sensitive and ease-of-use needs of today’s small business customer.”
The goal of the value-based program is to align with Cisco’s worldwide partner program. Together Linksys and Cisco registered channel partners will be combined into one common community to take advantage of both Cisco and Linksys unrestricted products. Linksys will also take advantage of Cisco’s distribution capabilities to enhance its global reach and enable distribution partners to build SMB initiatives across the brands. Finally, Linksys and Cisco will link the Cisco Certified Partner designations with Linksys Business Elite Partner status in the coming months.
“Combined Cisco and Linksys offer the largest portfolio of products and services for the SMB market. By working together to address the diverse small business market we can provide incremental value and profitability to the channel partners that cater to this segment,” said Keith Goodwin, senior vice president, Worldwide Channels at Cisco. “By building a partner program around the same value-based philosophy as Cisco, Linksys has laid the foundation for ongoing collaboration and alignment of our channel program and initiatives.”
The LPC program tiers include:
Registered Partner – Tier 1
Business Elite Partner – Tier 2
Business Elite Specialized Partner
LPC Registered Partner
The Registered Partner tier is the entry point into the Linksys Partner Connection Program and enables channel communication between Linksys and our partners. This requires the partner to give Linksys basic information such as company address and contact details, sourcing information and basic profiling about their business. In return Linksys offers these partners a monthly channel newsletter, access to monthly webinars, roadshows and online product/solution collateral.
LPC Business Elite Partner
The Business Elite Partner tier is specifically built for channel partners that offer foundational Linksys technologies to their customer base. This includes routing, switching, wireless and basic storage solutions. Partners are required to take a Foundational Technology specialization test that has a technical track and a sales track. These tests are online and role sharing is allowed so partners can have one employee that is specialized in both tracts. Once partners achieve Business Elite status they receive additional pricing discounts on Linksys Business Series and Linksys One Ready products except those that require specialization.
In addition, partners receive access to marketing development funds and the ability to take Linksys product specializations in Network Attached Storage (NAS), voice and Linksys One. When partners pass tests on these specializations they become Business Elite Specialized Partners. These specialized partners are given access to restricted NAS, Voice and Linksys One products at the Business Elite pricing discounts mentioned above. The Linksys One specialization is unique in that when a partner achieves this specialization they will not only receive access to Linksys One products, but they will receive an additional discount on both Linksys One and Linksys One Ready products.
The enhanced Linksys LPC program and alignment with Cisco partner program is expected to roll out in the US and Canada in August 2007 and progressively in other regions around the world. Existing Linksys Partners will be asked to re-register into the new Linksys Partner Connection program. There will be a grace period of 6 months to re-register for the new program in the US and Canada. EMEA, LatAm and APAC regions will be rolled out over the next 12 Months.
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