Linksys Cloud Manager 2.0 Provides New MRR Streams For ‘Creative’ MSPs

The latest version of cloud manager, which has added and dropped features from version 1.0, opens up opportunities for MSPs to realize additional revenue around services, Linksys told CRN.


Linksys is betting big on cloud management as a way to establish a competitive edge in the SMB networking market.

To that end, the company has revamped and updated its cloud management platform, Linksys Cloud Manager 2.0, to empower managed service providers to offer new solution and services to their small business customers, Linksys told CRN.

The vision of Linksys Cloud Manager 1.0, which was launched in 2018, was to “lean the fat” and eliminate complexities of network management for MSPs and their end clients. The latest iteration of the platform has been further optimized for emerging use cases that will add value for customers, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic changing networking requirements for many businesses, said John Minasyan, general manager and director of product management of Linksys‘ cyber security business unit.

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For one, remote management has become very important as VARs and MSPs seek to avoid truck rolls and manage everything they can from a centralized location. The new platform allows the partner to further customize the services they‘re delivering to their end client, Minasyan said.

Some features of Cloud Manager 1.0 have been eliminated in the latest version; a result from customers and partners, Minasyan said. For example, the immediate, seven-day view of historical access point data was removed as it wasn‘t useful to clients. Instead, the platform now displays real-time access point usage and highlights any issues in red. Cloud Manager 2.0 is also more responsive than its predecessor because Linksys removed the local user interface to create a true, cloud-first platform, Minasyan said.

Cloud Manager 2.0‘s cloud-hosted captive portal can be designed by MSPs to offer a more customized, Wi-Fi solution for their customers. “It’ a game-changer for partners,” Minasyan said. ”It’s about, once you have the infrastructure and hardware there, what can you do on top of it?”

The future plan is to be able to capture more valuable user data via the platform, Linksys said.

“Small businesses are looking for every way to optimize their investments and the ability to connect better with their clients though Wi-Fi is becoming a more and more compelling business proposition than it was in the past,” Minasyan said.

Rather than a five-year license, Linksys is now offering a free license for the lifetime of the platform. “[End users] have access to Cloud Manager for as long as they want to use the equipment in the field -- there‘s no limits anymore,” he said.

Changing from a five-year license to a lifetime license is a key driver for Linksys customers who were apprehensive about the future one the license expires, Minasyan said. The platform also now comes with free technical support for the lifetime of the product.

Linksys‘ free lifetime license offering gives partners the ability to extend the deal to customers, or wrap their own services around the platform and charge for their own services. “It becomes pure profit for the creative MSP because there’s no cost associated with that revenue stream on the back end,” Minasyan. ”It does open up opportunities for MSPs to realize additional revenue potential than simply marking up the hardware and charging for it.”

Linksys Cloud Manager 2.0 will be available on October 21, according to the Irvine, Calif.-based company.

Since being acquired by Belkin in 2013, Linksys, once a networking vendor geared toward consumers first, has been re-inventing itself as a SMB-focused networking player, Minasyan said. “Linksys has been working on re-igniting its SMB focus, both in how we go to market and internally, as far as what we build and how we build it,” he said.

Linksys does nearly all of its SMB networking business through the channel, Minasyan said.

Linksys‘ parent company Belkin was bought by Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn in 2018 in a deal that has allowed Linksys to scale to go after more customers than ever before, Minasyan said. “Being a part of one of the largest manufacturing entities in the world has opened up a lot of opportunity for us to engage in more custom projects,” he said.