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Ruckus: Solution Providers That Can Handle IT/OT Convergence Will Be 'Heroes'

For solution providers, it's not more work—it's more things you can bring together for your customers, says Shawn Lucas, director of global solutions engineering for Ruckus Networks.


Network infrastructure today goes far beyond wireless access points and cellular devices.

"There is a wave of devices that has never been included on the network," said Shawn Lucas, director of global solutions engineering for Ruckus Networks, an Arris Company, from connected doorbells to HVAC systems. "All of these devices are joining us on the web."

Ruckus has a vision for the new operational technology (OT) applications and processes that are joining IT applications on the enterprise network, the company's executives shared at XChange 2019, hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company.

"Ruckus is solving problems that didn’t used to be IT problems," Lucas said. And partners that can solve these new problems for their customers, he said, will be heroes.

[Related:UCaaS For MSPs: Why The Reseller Model Wins In the Long Run ]

"I think customers are handling IT and OT without a strategy," said David Powell, chief revenue officer for Corsica Technologies, a Centreville, Md.-based MSP that serves SMBs and and midsize enterprises.

There are suddenly new IT buyers in the mix, including employees in manufacturing plants or facilities staff that may have bought sensors or video cameras. "It’s introducing complexity and security issues that people just aren't thinking about," Powell said.  

The Internet of Things has allowed devices and endpoints to communicate with one another, but it's coming at a cost for many businesses, he said.

Most solution providers are still thinking about IT in terms of connecting users and devices, and then providing visibility, control and security, but OT still doesn't know that IT can solve its problems, said Jeanette Lee, senior director of product solutions and technical marketing for Ruckus.

Ruckus has a plan to handle IT and OT. The Ruckus IoT Suite is a hub that sits between an enterprise's IT and OT network and manages both. Enterprises can have access points that are also BLE radios where sensors can be hooked up to ride across the same network as other IT devices, Lee explained.  

"What if you had one dashboard to rule all those sensors and you could take action? If you can't do anything with that data, then what's the point?" she said.

Convergence is an opportunity for solution providers to solve OT problems with IT through a unified vision of switching, IoT and location management on a single pane of glass, Lucas said.  

For solution providers, it's not more work—it's more things you can bring together for your customers, according to Lucas.

"It's problems that aren't coming to you to be fixed," Lucas said. "And we consolidate processes and [solve these problems] on the same systems that we are already doing everything else."

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