Ruckus Networks' partners say that although its new president has some big shoes to fill, Ian Whiting's ability to keep sales steady throughout Ruckus' lengthy acquisition process by Arris has the channel bullish about the vendor's future.
"Ian has handled the multiple transitions from Ruckus to Brocade to Arris, and has been able to maintain and grow sales," said Gary Berzack, CTO at eTribeca, a New York City-based Ruckus partner. "He's also satisfied partner relationships and consistently deliver with his team. … Hats off to Ian. Ruckus continues to grow and be successful."
Whiting is set to be become president of Arris Enterprise Networks segment, dubbed Ruckus Networks, on July 1. He is succeeding the company current president, Dan Rabinovitsj, who was critical in leading the Ruckus-Arris integration process over the past 12 months. Whiting joined Ruckus in 2015 as its chief commercial officer and brings more than 25 years of sales, marketing and top-level management experience to the new position.
Partners described Rabinovitsj as the technology visionary for the wireless and wired networking specialist, while Whiting is the go-to-market sales driver. Solution providers said Whiting has been putting in the time to truly understand Ruckus' channel strategy by sitting in on partner advisory boards and discussions.
"I'm pretty optimistic with Ian now taking the lead. I've had some great talks with him and he understands what partners need as far as enablers," said one executive from a solution provider who is a longtime Ruckus partner, who declined to be named. However, the executive said Rabinovitsj "will be extremely difficult to replace."
"Dan has had constant success," said the executive. "It's going to be a different company now, but I have high hopes for Ian. Every partner is looking closely at sales this year because it may be the most important year to show if Ruckus can flourish [inside Arris]."
Whiting could not be reached by press time, but in a statement, he said he will continue to work closely together with Rabinovitsj to ensure a smooth transition.
"This is a very exciting time to be at Ruckus as we experience tremendous growth and momentum under Arris," said Whiting. "We have a vibrant business with a strong product portfolio, a great leadership team, and partner relationships, which are the envy of our competitors."
Ruckus' path to Arris was a long and difficult process that hit several major hurdles along the way, including a long delay for review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. In 2016, Ruckus was acquired by Brocade Communications for $1.2 billion. Brocade-Ruckus was then acquired by Broadcom for $5.5 billion last year. Broadcom sold Ruckus and its IP networking business to Arris International for $800 million, a deal that closed Dec. 1.
Ruckus recently finished its first full quarter as part of Arris, generating a total of $170 million in revenues.
"Sales of Ruckus Wireless equipment were an all-time record and we're seeing the results of portfolio cross-selling as the ICX switching business is growing in verticals that are traditionally strong for our wireless business such as in the hospitality and service provider verticals," said Arris CEO Bruce McClelland, during the company's first fiscal quarter earnings report in May.
Partners said Whiting, who spent 11 years at Brocade from 2001 to 2012, has the tools to keep driving positive momentum for Ruckus channel partners inside of Arris.
"Ian has reported to [former Ruckus CEO] Selina [Lo] and Dan, so he now has an opportunity to spread his wings and show his diverse talents," said Berzack.
Whiting will report directly to Arris CEO McClelland. "Ian Whiting's insight into the Ruckus Networks business, combined with his laser-focus on our customers and partners, will be invaluable for our ongoing operations," said McClelland, in a statement.