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Cisco Moving To Clarify Linksys Role

Cisco Systems' $2 billion push into the SMB space is forcing it to re-evaluate the role it has assigned its upstart Linksys division.

While Cisco bought Linksys to get a piece of the home networking market, Linksys at the time was well on its way to becoming a powerful player in the small-business networking space as well.

Cisco's subsequent SMB moves have many VARs wondering where Linksys stops and Cisco begins. Since the acquisition, Cisco, San Jose, Calif., has categorized Linksys as a home or SOHO player, recently upgrading its role to include small businesses with 20 or fewer employees.

All the while, Irvine, Calif.-based Linksys has continued to pursue its small-business networking strategy, adding more robust products to its line.

To clear up some confusion, the two companies are moving away from a "seat count" definition of small business. Now, Linksys will focus on customers that rely on VARs to manage their networks, and Cisco will focus on customers with professional IT staff.

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