In this installment of Tech Discussions, My TechDecisions Managing Editor Jonathan Blackwood sits down with Wayne Newton, Director – Americas Commercial Markets for Linksys. The discussion focuses on cloud networking needs for SMBs, but also touches on cybersecurity, Wi-Fi, and the history of Linksys as a consumer brand alongside plans for Linksys in the commercial market.
Linksys actually has a long history and heritage in the SMB market, dating back to its early days. When purchased by Cisco, the focus was pushed more to the consumer market in order to gain a stronger foothold in that space. A foothold was indeed gained, but Linksys never lost sight of the SMB market it originally wished to aide. After being purchased by Belkin, the company decided to once again make a stronger push into the commercial market, specifically in the SMB space.
The SMB market is a diverse set. On the low end you have very small businesses – operations being run out of homes, sometimes by a single owner/operator. On the high end you have businesses that have scaled – offices, retail spaces, sometimes up to 100 employees. At the low end of the market the cloud networking needs are similar to consumer needs. However, as businesses scale, needs change quickly. Business owners want to move into commercial-grade products in order to scale.
Commercial-grade networking products allow for a number of benefits to SMB business owners. Take the case of retail – say a bar or restaurant. Customers will expect to have Wi-Fi service, and a consumer product isn’t going to provide adequate service at peak business hours. In the office, you’ll want to be able to do two things – scale and monitor. A consumer product isn’t going to let you remotely access points, it won’t let you allocate bandwidth, and it won’t allow you to monitor who is doing what on the network. As you grow, a consumer product definitely won’t allow you to scale to the size of 100 employees or more. These are things you want to think about up front – and the added cost is worth it.
Check out the Tech Discussion video above to learn about the needs of SMBs, cloud networking, Wi-Fi, cybersecurity, and more.