XChange 2017: Ruckus Launches New Program That Gives Partners A Free Wireless Controller

Ruckus Wireless unveiled a new program at XChange 2017 on Monday that gives partners its wireless controller for free with the purchase of a Ruckus access point.

"Between now and the end of September, if you buy a Ruckus access point, we'll give you cloud for free," said Shawn Lucas, director of global solutions engineering at Ruckus Wireless (pictured). "This is giving partners the opportunity to sell the cloud controller or give it away. It's 100 percent gross profit for the channel. You can do that for up to 200 access points."

Lucas said partners could get the free wireless controller for up to one year; the goal is to drive more cloud sales via the channel.

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Blake Schwank, CEO of Colorado Computer Support, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based solution provider and Ruckus partner, touted the vendor's channel dedication and support after the program was revealed.

"Ruckus does a great job engaging the channel, probably better than any other wireless solution that's out there," said Schwank. "They seem to be the ones that work the hardest getting engaged with the channel, which is a great thing."

However, Schwank expressed some concern about the future of Ruckus with Arris International expecting to acquire the company later this year.

Ruckus was acquired by Brocade Communications last year for $1.2 billion. Brocade-Ruckus is set to be acquired by Broadcom this fall for $5.9 billion; Broadcom plans to then sell Ruckus and its IP networking business to Arris International immediately.

"It is a little bit of a concern just because with what we've seen with other [vendors] that's been acquired. Some partners don’t miss a beat. Some, it can be very painful," said Schwank. "When Meraki got acquired by Cisco, it was a lot different and harder to work with Meraki."

Schwank reassured XChange attendees that partners wouldn't have any issues selling Ruckus once the acquisition closes.

"When I met the CEO of Arris … I said, 'What can I expect?' He said, 'I expect you to keep being Ruckus,'" said Lucas. "So for those of you that really like Ruckus -- like the culture, like the people you work with -- we're going to keep having fun. We're going to keep being Ruckus."

More than anything, we're going to stay focused on the channel. We don’t take customers directly. We never have, and we're not going to," he said. "We're going to keep working through you, driving through you, educating you and making sure you make money on our products."

Ruckus is expecting to be acquired by Arris in October. "The acquisition is going to happen. We're not worried by that," Lucas said.

Ruckus partners have until Sept. 30 to enroll in the free wireless controller promotion.

XChange 2017, run by CRN parent The Channel Company, is taking place Aug. 13 to Aug. 15 in Orlando, Fla.