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Ruckus' growth has been one of the wireless segment's most impressive success stories. The company now has more than 500 employees in 22 countries and more than 5,150 registered channel partners. Callisch said more than a third of those partners are repeat Ruckus buyers. Ruckus did about $120 million in revenue in its fiscal 2011, according to the company, and earlier this year took in an additional $21.7 million in financing, bringing its total VC investment to about $73 million since its 2004 founding.
From a technology perspective, its wireless "secret sauce" is beamforming -- an RF technology that boosts client signal transmission and throughput by focusing RF energy directly at Wi-Fi clients.
In recent years, Ruckus has been particularly aggressive in hot markets like carrier Wi-Fi, in which it controls about 27 percent of service provider Wi-Fi mesh node shipments, according to the Dell'Oro Group. Gartner pegged Ruckus as having the highest year-over-year revenue growth among wireless LAN suppliers in the fourth quarter of 2011 -- its global market share is about 5 percent in terms of vendor revenue and unit shipments of WLAN coordinated access points.
Last fall, Ruckus took top honors in the SMB Networking Hardware category of CRN's 2011 Annual Report Card, beating out entrenched rivals like Cisco, HP and Adtran -- proof positive that its early investment in the channel, particularly with partners looking for alternatives to those vendors and WLAN specialists like Aruba and Meru, was a savvy move.
Following that run of good notices, it was time to bolster Ruckus' executive team, Callisch said, and there have been a number of internal moves made in recent months, including the promotions of Maynard and Gill. In addition, Rob Mustarde, most recently vice president of worldwide sales, is now vice president of marketing. In his own marketing role, Callisch focuses on corporate communications, while Mustarde covers product and technical marketing.
More channel managers are also arriving. Anita Pandey, who started this week as Ruckus' director of channel marketing, was recently vice president of product marketing and vertical market development at Ruckus rival Meru, and before that spent about 10 years at Cisco in business development roles for wireless LAN and collaboration software. Ruckus also has a new inside sales team in its European theater to support channel scaling, a technical training management team and learning management system to assist with partner training and certification and new distribution sales managers.