ARC 2011: SMB Networking Hardware

WINNER: Ruckus Wireless

They're thinking a little differently now. Ruckus, growing revenue more than 100 percent year-over-year, took the overall score in SMB Networking Hardware and lost only a small handful of subcategories to Adtran and one to HP--a substantial victory fueled by the passion of its VAR base.

In the first half of 2011, Ruckus added 1,000 new unique VARs around the world, and is continuing to add new partners at the rate of 200 per month, according to David Callisch, Ruckus' vice president of marketing. That compares to the 700 VARs Ruckus added for all of 2010--yet more proof that the word is out about Ruckus, not only with the channel, but with customers.

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"If we can get our product into peoples' hands--if they can test it--then nine out of 10 times we win the deal. They're blown away," Callisch said.

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Partners credit a fail-safe combo of rock-solid products--Ruckus copped an eye-popping score of 108.1 in the criteria of product quality and reliability--and deeply engaged channel support. The SMB continues to be Ruckus' bread and butter, but it's also pushing further upmarket.

Earlier this fall, it launched ZoneFlex 5000, which can support up to 20,000 clients, 1,000 access points, 2,048 wireless LANs and 1,000 tunneled connections. It's now the high-end product in the Ruckus lineup--a response, said Callisch, to partners that have requested more sophisticated products for larger and more complex wireless deployments.