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Chris Clauss, manager for the Advanced Solutions Team at Strategic Products and Services, a Parsippany, N.J.-based solution provider, agreed that the Bluesocket buy expands Adtran's purview.
"After first capturing WAN access, then firewall and routing, followed by voice, Adtran now does wireless," Clauss said. "This acquisition gives Adtran further inroads by offering their customers a one-stop shop for their data networking needs."
Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president and distinguished research fellow at The Yankee Group, compared Adtran's move to the acquisition of Trapeze Networks by Juniper last fall, which thrust Juniper into the WLAN space.
Unlike Juniper, however, Adtran bought a company at the cutting edge of wireless LAN trends, Kerravala wrote in a blog post for No Jitter.
"Trapeze was one of the first wireless providers to separate the control and data planes and there was a window where they had a technology advantage over the market leaders Aruba and Cisco," Kerravala wrote. "However, Aruba and Cisco have caught up and it's unlikely that Juniper can significantly gain share with a product that is actually well behind Cisco and Aruba now."
The approach taken by Bluesocket -- along with other emerging vendors like Aerohive and Meraki that push a controller-less approach to WLAN management -- gives Adtran a potential advantage that it can't afford to waste, he said.
"For Adtran to take advantage of this new asset, they'll need to step on the gas and be a lot more edgy and marketing-focused than they have in the past," Kerravala wrote. "Those who know Adtran know them to be a very well run, efficient company with high quality products. They also know that Adtran's marketing prowess, particularly on the enterprise side, is somewhat limited."
Buying its way into market segments has typically not been Adtran's game, Kerravala noted.
"Adtran has historically built almost everything," he wrote. "Instead of buying a switch vendor, it built its own; instead of buying a UC vendor, it built its own; so I find that it chose to buy here a recognition of how fast and how competitive the wireless LAN market is."
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