Ruckus Wireless has been a buzzed-about upstart in enterprise wireless networking for years, and despite narrowly losing this year's overall SMB Networking Hardware category to Cisco, put up quite a showing in the ARC for the second year in a row, beating Cisco in the product innovation and partnership subcategories.
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Ruckus' widest margin of victory over rival Cisco came in product compatibility and ease of integration. Cisco, however, pulled well ahead of Ruckus in areas such as quality of field management and training, suggesting that it'll take a lot more from Ruckus to counter Cisco's mighty channel support apparatus. Ruckus also won the SMB Hardware category outright in 2011, with Cisco ranking fifth. That speaks volumes not only about Ruckus' continued market penetration but also about Cisco's comeback from a prior year.
"We've kept at it and we're going to continue to [find ways] to win and get new opportunities for our partners," said Ron Gill, Ruckus vice president of Americas Enterprise Sales.
On Oct. 5, Ruckus confirmed long-awaited plans for an IPO, filing a Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the filing, Ruckus posted $6.2 million in profit for the first six months of 2012, up from a $900,000 loss in the same period a year ago, and revenue of $93.9 million, up from $47.4 million Ruckus had in the same six-month period in 2011.
Gary Berzack, COO and CTO at eTribeca, a New York-based solution provider, said Ruckus was right to wait on that seminal move. "I think this is a good thing as they built a solid base and developed their culture, which is edgy, in a good way," Berzack said.
Meanwhile, Cisco is continuing to pour resources into the SMB and midmarket segments behind its global Partner Led initiatives. A new program, Partner Plus, was unveiled in April.
"It's critical for Cisco and partners to have the ability to scale in that midmarket space," said Andrew Sage, vice president, worldwide Partner Led.