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There's been a lot of consolidation among wireless networking players, and there's this idea that with wireless' role becoming more important in a converged network infrastructure there won't be a place for stand-alone wireless companies anymore. What are your thoughts on that?
We believe in the all-wireless edge, and that enterprises and organizations are going to have to support their user community. There isn't an enterprise that doesn't have complete wired infrastructure in place, but they're buying wireless infrastructure and over time watching their wired infrastructure atrophy as the traffic moves to wireless. So someone looking to update a wired infrastructure, they might as well stay with their incumbent because it also doesn't make sense to have a wired infrastructure for the edge at this point. We give customers a real choice. We really don't think wired is the future.
I don't think anyone has to go in and rip out their wired [infrastructure] -- every enterprise has made the investment already, so why rip it out? They deploy wireless, and may start to think of it just as an overlay there for casual use. But as they realize that, wow, almost all of my users are using this infrastructure to access any application -- HD video, for example -- and not using the wired infrastructure, once the wired switches reach their end-of-life, and once the support contracts expire, they can actually reduce and shrink the number of switches they have. Maybe you have 10,000 ports, and you can eliminate 50 percent. You right-size the wired infrastructure and shift the support contract to the wireless.
Do you see continued consolidation among the wireless players out there?
If you look at any aspect of the tech industry, there'll always be consolidation and always M&A. Then, you always have startups that emerge because there's room for innovation in any region. If no one believed that, no software companies would be formed because Microsoft dominates everything, right? Or Intel dominates semiconductors?
So will there be consolidation within wireless? Absolutely there will be consolidation in wireless. But this is a growth market. Even with the number of players we have -- wireless vendors we have -- it's amazing how infrequently we see many of these other players. We see Cisco everywhere because everyone is a Cisco customer. They're feeding their customer base with older architectures of wireless, but we always see Cisco in every prospect. But this is a large market, and we don't see all of the other players all of the time. This is a natural process in the industry. There is always going to be room for innovation players like Meru.
Where, or in what aspect, is the next innovation going to happen in wireless?
When Meru was founded, it was founded based on this vision of the all-wireless edge or all-mobile edge in a wireless enterprise. You recognize that the medium for communications is spectrum, and you can't create more spectrum so you have to look at ways to continue to optimize that finite resource of spectrum.
Clearly, the way to do that is virtualization. You can expect there to be more innovation in virtualization with wireless, and expect to see some of that coming from us, including in how our APs work today. There will be more innovation in other parts of the solution, if you like, in the area of virtualization, and innovation in the area of leveraging virtualization and the cloud to deliver the resiliency and scalability of capacity on-demand for the emergence of the new mobile enterprise. I expect that's what you'll see.