Linksys looks for local exposure

Linksys looks for local exposure

CONSUMER-focused networking firm Linksys will soon appoint a country manager in New Zealand. He or she will have plenty to keep them busy.

The vendor, owned by networking giant Cisco, has signed its first agreement with a large local retailer, Dick Smith Electronics, and has launched a Skype-enabled cordless phone.

Regional manager for Australia and New Zealand Graeme Reardon was in the country this month talking to potential candidates for the job, and to seal the deal with Dick Smith.

The new person will help the company be more proactive in its relationships with local partners, says Reardon.

“Until the beginning of this year we did not have a real focus in New Zealand. That is why we are putting someone on shortly,” he says.

The relationship with Dick Smith will increase exposure of the Linksys range in the country, says Reardon.

The agreement began earlier this month, after months of talks, and follows a similar deal announced with the retail chain in Australia in June.

“We are seeing significant volumes from Dick Smith in Australia,” says Reardon.

Dick Smith will stock Linksys’s range of wired and wireless home networking products in stores throughout the country and will be supplied by distributor Ingram Micro.

The chain was chosen because it is technology focused and will help Linksys take advantage of the boom in home networking, says Reardon.

“The networking segment in New Zealand is growing exponentially,” he says.

Reardon will not comment on which other mass retailers might be brought onboard later on, but says Linksys is talking to a number of others. The company’s new CIT200 internet telephony kit allows users to make Skype calls wherever they are in the home or office.

The unit is the first in a range of Skype-enabled products from Linksys, he says.

“The goal of the relationship is to enhance public awareness of Voice over IP calling services,” he says.

The kit consists of a cordless phone-like handset, charger and a USB base station that plugs into the PC running the Skype client. The device will not work when the PC is turned off and does not double as a normal phone.

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