Channel Partners Kept Ruckus Sales Steady While Its Future Was Up In The Air

Ruckus Wireless made it clear at XChange Solution Provider 2017 that its channel partners are the reason the company has survived two acquisitions in the last year.

"If you haven't seen that elephant in the room, we've been acquired a couple of times in the last 18 months," said Shawn Lucas, director of global solution engineering at Ruckus Wireless, on stage in front of hundreds of solution providers. "Ruckus lives on for one very important reason: You."

"You all stuck with us; our numbers didn't fall off. Everything is going great," said Lucas.

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Ruckus Wireless was acquired by Brocade Communications Systems in May for $1.2 billion. In November, semiconductor maker Broadcom struck a deal to buy Brocade for $5.9 billion – but immediately signaled its intention to divest the company's IP networking business, including Ruckus. That put some Ruckus channel on edge.

Several months later, Arris International, a networking equipment manufacturer focused on the service provider market, announced it would buy Brocade's networking assets from Broadcom for $800 million.

"We can take the best parts of a couple of these acquisitions and put it all together and create a solution for you to take out in the marketplace and make money," said Lucas. "We're still providing the highest performing, highest capability commercially available Wi-Fi that you can buy."

The deal with Arris would leave Broadcom with possession of Brocade's switching, data center and software assets. With the Brocade product lines in its portfolio, Arris said it would expand its networking business beyond its traditional consumer base, into schools, public venues, big businesses and hotels.

Michael Knight, president and CTO of Encore Technology Group, a Greenville, SC.-based solution provider and Brocade partner, said Ruckus' mindset is that they still feel "very relevant and they have great technologies, which is good."

"The interesting thing they're going to have to deal with is, how are they really going to drive and continue to make partners feel like that they are viable as they pair off with [Brocade] ICX [switching]," said Knight. "Because many people very much trust the whole Brocade stack and see that as the whole value proposition. So it's going to be interesting to see how all of those products can still be purchased together and what types of OEM agreements will be made between Broadcom and Arris."

Knight said Encore plans to continue partnering with Brocade-Ruckus in the future as an Arris company "providing everything stays meaningful and on task."

Lucas ended his presentation at XChange by asking: "Why are we a great channel company?"

"It's because we want to do everything we can do to help you create solutions that make you look awesome and help you win business and keep those doors open and keep the lights clicking," he said.