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LEONARD: There has been a lot of interest from Cisco partners, too. It fills a gap we weren't covering well.
GALLOWAY: Part of Airespace's appeal to channel partners is that it's a product that is easy to show. A great demo. It is easier to sell effectively even if you don't have a highly trained RF sales force. A lot of the Airespace VARs signed up because they saw the opportunity to 'wireless-enable' their sales force and sales engineers rather easily. We have that opportunity times ten at Cisco.
CRN: Does this acquisition put an end to the 'thin vs. fat' debate?
LEONARD: I never called it a debate. Fat, or what we call autonomous, access points, have advantages and thin has many advantages as well.
GALLOWAY: I think the debate started off on the wrong foot. Thin vs. fat was determined by how much memory an access point has, and the Airespace access points have plenty of memory so it's not even accurate to call them thin. They are different because of lot of the management is central.
LEONARD: We have many customers who don't want a controller and don't understand why they would want one.
CRN: On the acquisition, who sought whom?
LEONARD: We approached them.
CRN: Brett, did Cisco's offer surprise you?
GALLOWAY: I was somewhat taken aback. But the opportunity to vastly accelerate this product's adoption was attractive.
CRN: Brett, you came to Cisco with the Airespace acquisition. Any big changes with the move?
GALLOWAY: I was CEO of Airespace for a little under two and a half years. Before Airespace, I was at Packeteer. I was a co-founder. I am a big believer in the channel.
Airespace's strategy was very much a channel strategy, much as Packeteer's was. The opportunity was to help channels take advantage of the emerging opportunity in wireless, not just to sell equipment but also to deliver value. Wireless is this thing that is not well understood by the vast majority of the market. It's in filling in that gap between lack of understanding and need that value is added.
CRN: Mystery equals margin.