Channel Best--Sellers: Enterprise Wireless Networking12:00 AM EST Mon. Mar. 31, 2008
Cisco Systems Inc. continued its hold on the channel's enterprise wireless networking market. No other vendor even came close, with Motorola Inc., Nortel Networks Corp., SonicWall Inc. and D-Link Systems rounding out the top five.
Alex Thurber, Cisco's senior director of technology go to market, said there are several factors contributing to VARs' selection of Cisco as their strategic wireless vendor: advancements like 802.11n, the soon-to-be-ratified new wireless standard; Cisco delivering on its 1999 acquisition of Airespace with its line of Aironet devices; and Cisco's ability to deliver an end-to-end, full-brand portfolio of wireless gear.
"If the stuff doesn't work—if it's not ready for prime time—VARs are only going to sell it once because they're going to get burned," Thurber said.
Over the last 18 months, Cisco has firmed up it's 802.11 a/b/g offerings, while also paying close attention to the growth of 11n. Thurber said he expects the gap between Cisco and other wireless vendors to only widen as wireless networking eclipses wired as the connectivity option of choice for companies and their VARs.
"Wireless started out in the enterprise as a rogue technology IT staff didn't like wireless," he said. "But these are very much the wireless years: 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009."
Nortel shows great promise and growth, whichProduct Marketing Manager for Wireless Joanne Lennon said is in part due to the increased sales of converged network components and the growth of Voice over WLAN.
"Our WLAN sales are not strictly WLAN products, but tied into larger solutions," Lennon said. "Not too many vendors out there are offering full converged solutions."
Scott Davis, executive director of Broken Arrow, Okla.-based solution provider Xeta Technologies, said Nortel's growth in wireless enterprise revenue is partially due to the vendor bundling solutions.
"We are seeing a lot of Nortel customers, especially the data customers, trying to get all at once," he said. "Nortel is very aggressive about bundling solutions together and showing where the Layer 2 switches tie in with other tools."