GitexInterviewsNetworking

Linksys Bets High on its Mesh Networking and Cloud Manager Solution

Arabian Reseller speaks to Amanulla Khan, the Managing Director for Middle East, Turkey and Africa, at Linksys, about the new products and solutions launched by Linksys on the market, their new Linksys Cloud Manager solution, and the promises mesh networking brings to the market

Tell us about Linksys’ key focus areas.
We have the consumer networking business, software for consumers and businesses, small businesses and mid-enterprise businesses. This year in terms of products, we have continued to  focus on our Velop range of mesh networking products.

We launched Velop in March 2016. At that time, it was one of the first mesh networking technologies launched on to the market. When we launched mesh networking products on the market, there was about 1 percent of the technology’s adoption.

Today, Velop is the most-awarded mesh networking solution globally. Currently, we have around 17 percent of adoption of the mesh networking technology. Since the launch, we have also added another product to the portfolio, which is a dual-band mesh solution. Recently, we also updated our Linksys Smart Wi-Fi solution. It now boasts of new features.

Are you running any activities to increase the adoption of mesh networking products in the region?
Yes, we are. To increase the adoption of mesh networking products, we are running some trade-in activities wherein we ask people to come with their old routers and replace them with the new mesh networking solution. We continue to push the product into the market and we have seen a favourable response from the consumers.

Tell us about the new Linksys Cloud Manager.
We launched our Linksys Cloud Manager for businesses recently. A small business owner would need a robust and secure Wi-Fi solution. Every business is now doing at least part of its business online – they are either selling products online, providing online services, offering customer and tech support online, and so on. In such a scenario, businesses need to stay connected online.

Employees also need access to the network when they are not in office, to access data and so on. Also, in today’s competitive environment, securing your data is a priority. So your network needs to be secure in order to thwart external attempts to steal data and so on.

Also, SMBs have budget constraints, when compared with an enterprise. In addition, SMBs cannot often afford an IT team to take care of their IT requirements. However, companies still need solid and secure network for connectivity without any interruption.

And this is where the Linksys Cloud Manager comes into play. It lets you manage your entire network, even at multiple locations, through one dashboard. You can remotely manage and deploy new access points and so on, without having to physically visit the site.

The biggest thing we have done with the solution is offer a five-year license as part of the solution. So companies don’t have to pay for licensing fees, for the next five years. During these five years, all of the upgrades are provided for free. At the end of the five year period, companies can either opt to pay the license fee for the upcoming years, or they can stop using the cloud benefit. By stopping the cloud benefit, the solution reverts to being a locally managed network solution.

You recently also announced the Phyn water management solution. Tell us more about it.
The Phyn Smart Water Management solution is a product of a partnership between Belkin and Upon. The Phyn Plus is installed on a home’s water supply system. The device then monitors tiny changes in water pressure to track water usage and identify blockages, burst pipes, and leaks. The device is also capable of automatically shutting off water in the event of larger issues, which could save you from larger problems in the long run.

How will you educate your channel partners of the benefits of your new products and solutions?
We recently did a launch event for all our partners. We will soon be doing an event that will focus on educating our channel partners in terms of the technical information regarding the products and solutions we offer on the market and the value add we bring to the table. We have also launched a demo program, where people can buy our products at an attractive price in order to deploy proof of concepts.

Are you working with telecom providers to offer your mesh solutions to customers?
Yes, we are working with a couple of telecom providers and we continue to dialogue with others to offer our mesh solutions to their customers. Saudi Telecom in Saudi Arabia and Oredoo in Oman have recently purchased our mesh solutions to offer to their customers. Etisalat and Du are also offering the Velop solution as part of select internet connectivity packages.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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