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That's because the Sunnyvale, Calif., company is biting into bigger competitors like Cisco Systems Inc. with innovative and reliable technology at a better price along with a margin-rich, 100-percent channel-friendly sales model.
Ruckus has done what the wireless pundits claimed was impossible: deliver a no-compromise wireless LAN experience for the midmarket that is every bit as reliable as a wired LAN. Just as impressive, the Ruckus solution comes in at half the price of old-school wireless solutions. And it takes half the time to install.
Lo credits Ruckus' intelligent SmartMesh networking software and patented BeamFlex smart-antenna array technology. Combined, the two have opened the door for solution providers to deliver a reliable wireless solution without all the heavy Cat5 cabling requirements that have made some competitors' offerings costly, messy and time consuming. What SmartMesh technology does is eliminate the need to run Ethernet cables to every Wi-Fi access point.
"Our company is not shy," says Lo, who bet the company on a move into the crowded and intensely competitive wireless market and in short order has won over several hundred savvy solution providers. "We are pretty loud. The Ruckus name represents our spirit. You can't ignore us. If you say we can't do something, we go out and do it and make a 'ruckus.' "
Ruckus indeed. The company is one of a record-breaking 177 vendors in this year's CRN Emerging Vendors class. It's a class that has grown steadily in size and influence over the last several years as some larger, more established vendors continue to dole out single-digit margins and haphazard support for the channel.
Channel-hungry emerging vendors across the board—in software, security, storage and all tech sectors—have designed products aimed straight at the heart of the SMB market, where clients are every bit as demanding as enterprise customers but are more willing to take a risk on cutting-edge solutions from the entrepreneurial solution providers partnering with vendors on this year's list.
What Ruckus and the other emerging vendors are doing is rewriting the rules of the marketplace by building a better mousetrap. They are risk-takers moving to gain market share from larger, established companies.
"Ruckus is probably the best-kept secret in the technology business," says Mike Gompers, president of One Media Wireless, an Atlanta-based solution provider and one of Ruckus' Gold Big Dog partners. "They have great products. And Ruckus really helps the system integrator solve the business challenges of building networks vs. spending all my time trying to get the wireless equipment to where it needs to be."
He was looking for a wireless solution last summer for the hospitality industry that would allow him to get the job done without having to tear apart a hotel to install Cat5 cables. "My biggest challenge now is finding wall power, not how to get cabling from the phone closet and go room to room with it."