Acquiring Bluesocket will put Adtran into more direct competition with a small galaxy of wireless LAN vendors, from established titans like Cisco and Aruba Networks to upstart players like Meru Networks and Ruckus Wireless. There are a number of newer market entrants, too; Juniper Networks made the move into wireless LAN last fall, when it acquired Trapeze for $152 million.
"If you look at the network today, it's two parallel networks -- a wireless and a wireline," Bolton said. "We believe it needs to be one seamless network with seamless scalability. We went out and looked at a number of people in this market and what put us toward Bluesocket was the virtualization."
Adtran in late 2009 entered the unified communications space with its NetVanta UC line, but this time around, it didn't make sense to build a new technology in-house, Bolton said.
The wireless LAN upgrade many enterprises are experiencing is already underway -- "those decisions are being made now," he said.
"Neither of us could wait," Bolton explained. "They needed the channels, and we needed the solution. It's like chocolate and peanut butter."
Bluesocket has a small group of large enterprise- and large campus-focused solution providers -- including a handful that are also Adtran partners -- but nowhere near Adtran's community of about 3,000 VARs.
Adtran will spend the next few months onboarding those Bluesocket partners, introducing its own partners to the Bluesocket technology, and also looking to recruit wireless LAN VARs that have not been Adtran partners in the past.
"You'll see the real advantage of having all-Adtran networks, and to make this seamless across the enterprise," Bolton said. "The other part we're real excited about is to ramp out the solution on a global basis. We're right in the middle of a technology upgrade cycle, and to have an incredibly highly differentiated solution, how sexy is that? Our channel partners and service providers will be very excited."