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How soon can Meru be a $1 billion company?
That's obviously not something I can answer directly. But let me say that as a core element of getting to that size, number one, you have to have the management team in place that can lead the company there, and number two, you have to have the right investments in the right places. The investment in our field organization and channel partner managers, and the investment in our channel partners themselves, with training, certification, co-marketing activities and the marketing engine we put in place, all of those are core drivers that will help us get there.
Can you update us on the CEO search?
It's a search that, as I've said publicly, is under way. Clearly the board is engaged in interviewing candidates. Beyond that, I can't really add much more information.
Another thing that keeps coming up with partners and in the industry is the M&A rumors around Meru. Are you looking to be acquired?
I've been hearing these rumors for seven years. I can assure you these rumors are always going to be around any company like this because that's just the nature of business in general, whether in the wireless industry, the storage industry, the cloud industry, it doesn't really matter. We hear this all the time. I'm not surprised to hear that and it doesn't affect us at all at this point.
CRN has talked a lot with Meru and other wireless providers about this idea of the all-mobile edge, with customers shifting their infrastructure completely wireless. I know it's hard to quantify, but how close are customers to reaching that state?
That's a very good question. I can tell you that from our own installed base, the vast majority of our customers are already there. When a Meru wireless network goes in, they're surprised at how quickly the percentage of day-to-day network traffic shifts from the wired infrastructure to the wireless. It's not unusual for our customers to be running 70, 80, even 90 percent of their traffic over wireless rather than wired. For our customer base, it's the norm.
A couple of years back, I would have told you that it's still going to take awhile for the rest of the world to realize that eventually we are going to have to move to this mode. But six months after the introduction of the iPad, I think this became an obvious thing to talk about with a prospect because the majority of computing devices coming into the enterprise are not only wireless, but there's no good physical way to wire them. That's how we as employees and workers want to access applications and data, and at Meru we envisioned our architecture from the ground up because this is only going to accelerate in the enterprise. Our customers are already there, and we're seeing this in financial services, in manufacturing, in education. I expect this to accelerate as a mainstream trend. The BYOD phenomenon is the core catalyst.
So it's bring-your-own-device that gets us to the all-mobile edge, in other words?
I would say so. When I reflect back over the years, it used to be the early adopters that became our customers. They were thinking in one of two modes. One was a visionary within an organization who was constantly asking, 'Why can't I do this wirelessly?' The other type was someone trying to do it wirelessly in architectures where devices were really controlling the networks instead of being controlled by the network as in a wired environment. So they would discover us and replace all of their wireless, as opposed to just casual use.
The whole BYOD phenomenon -- you can't just wire a smartphone and wire a MacBook Air and an iPad easily. I remember being very excited when the MacBook Air came out because this was one of the first mobile computing devices that [fit this bill] and people thought it was a niche product because you had to go through a lot of hoops if you wanted to wire it. We thought that was the shape of things to come. That's a watershed event.
NEXT: Room For A Stand-Alone Wireless Company?