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Mist Systems Makes Deal With Ingram Micro ‘To Help Us Accelerate’

‘AI-driven Wi-Fi allows for a smarter, more flexible, high performance network. It also helps bring the channel partner closer to the customer,’ Eric Kohl, VP of advanced solutions, networking and security business unit at Ingram Micro, tells CRN.

Ingram Micro and Juniper Networks-owned Mist Systems are partnering to provide AI-driven wireless products, marketing, logistics and technical support through the distributor and expand its reach beyond its current set of partners.

Mist Learning Wireless LAN boasts that it can replace the operational burdens of legacy Wi-Fi with “proactive automation.” The company also said it is blending Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy, and IoT to give personalized location-based services for wireless users.

“AI-driven Wi-Fi allows for a smarter, more flexible, high performance network. It also helps bring the channel partner closer to the customer," Eric Kohl, VP of advanced solutions, networking and security business unit at Ingram Micro, told CRN. “Businesses and consumers want the same experience — which includes the overall performance and security — between wired and wireless environments.”

Mist’s WLAN platform is combined with Juniper’s wired LAN, SD-WAN and security solutions to leverage AI for IT. Mike Anderson, head of channels at Mist, told CRN this deal is about accelerating its route to market, and expand and reinforcing its MSP partner programs, through the banking and logistic structure that Ingram offers.

“Fundamentally, Mist has made a decision to partner with Ingram to accelerate its expansion in the market,” he said. “Its really it is going to help us accelerate, not only in our channel programs, but give us access to partners we’re not working with today.”

He said Mist gives partners the modern cloud, AI-powered infrastructure, that simplifies operations by leveraging monitoring technologies that Mist calls “service level expectations,” which are designed to enforce SLAs and lower the overhead on managing their customers WLAN-as-a-service networks by removing manual tasks typically involved.

“There’s a lot of meat there for them to enhance their businesses,” he said.

Kohl said there is excitement in Ingram for the new partnership with Mist and the ability to plug that into the company’s “Juniper ecosystem” where there is pent-up demand for its products.

“We’ve been a top Juniper partner for over 15 years,” he said. “We have a large and dedicated team that is very excited to get to work to expand Mist. Not only into the large Juniper ecosystem of partners we serve today, but certainly there is demand for next generation wireless across the board. We’re selling wireless technologies to thousands and thousands of resellers. Certainly the opportunity exists above and beyond our Juniper channel.”

Anderson said Mist, which was acquired by Juniper in April of this year, has seen incredible growth in the past two years. Customers include three of the Fortune 10 and about 25 of the Fortune 500 adopting the Mist platform to deliver wireless to their users.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper Networks bought artificial intelligence-powered networking startup Mist Systems for $405 million with the goal of leveraging Mist’s technology to boost enterprise sales with an AI-driven end-to-end approach.

Mist was founded by CEO Sujai Hajela and CTO Bob Friday, who were both top Cisco wireless executives. Mist has a total of 150 full-time employees and raised a total of $88.4 million in funding since its founding in 2014.

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