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Q&A: New Linksys Chief Passionate About Home Integration Market

Michael Pocock joined Cisco Systems' Linksys division at the start of May as senior vice president and general manager, replacing Linksys co-founders Victor and Janie Tsao who left to pursue other opportunities in Cisco. He spoke with Infrastructure Editor Jennifer Hagendorf Follett about Linksys' standing in the home market and the expanding opportunities he sees in working with home integrators. Edited excerpts of the conversation follow:

CRN: What opportunities do you see for digital integrators in the home market? Do you see Linksys putting together the pieces for that market?

Pocock: Interesting that you bring that up. I'll give you a personal experience that I think is not the exception but the rule. A couple of years ago I had just built a new home, and while I was going through that I was putting a home theater in my house. The company that I used was actually a local VAR that did home security, home theater, home networking, was getting into photography, involved with the emergence of digital imaging being downloaded into the home, Voice over IP and the early products that were coming out there. Whereas a lot of retailers want to reach that market as well, they're going to have to, in my opinion, partner with local VARs to be able to deliver the total solution.

I think we're going to have to facilitate an alliance or facilitate retailers hooking up with local VARs to be able to deliver the total solution. I think retailers are great in terms of providing product selection and some of the services, but to install an integrated solution for the home requires, I think, a little more expertise.

CRN: As you look at Linksys today, what do you see as its biggest challenge?

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