Year to date through October, the access point market has experienced an 18 percent unit and 10 percent dollar sales growth in the U.S. B2B Indirect Channel compared to the same period year ago, according to The NPD Group's Distributor Track and Commercial Reseller Tracking Service. Growth can be attributed to a series of trends, including infrastructure upgrades to match the increasing demands of bring-your-own-device and IoT strategies, movement towards controller-less management, and strong K12 and federal buying seasons.
Notably, June and September, which represent the peak of the education and federal government buying seasons, respectively, saw the strongest unit sales, accounting for 24 percent of sales year to date. In the education segment, the rapid adoption of Chromebooks and E-rate funding from the Federal Communications Commission continue to be key catalysts for access point growth. From 2014 to 2016, Chromebook unit shipments grew at a 42 percent compound annual growth rate in the B2B indirect channel. In the federal segment, growth can be attributed to agencies working to modernize their infrastructure, as well as a growing acceptance of employees leveraging WiFi across campuses to foster collaboration. Each of these instances results in increasing demand on existing networks, or otherwise creates a need for additional network support.
Year to date (through October), the following brands are leading the access point market in unit sales in the B2B Indirect Channel:
"Channel partners are increasingly seeking technology solutions that are easier to deploy, manage, and layer higher margin IT services on top of," said Michael Diamond, Director, Industry Analysis, Commercial Technology for The NPD Group. "Among other factors, we expect continued adoption of 802.11ac Wave 2 devices, which offer greater throughput, will drive sales growth, as companies look to solve for network demands from an ever-increasing number of devices that are connected, streaming content, and also generating valuable telemetry data to be analyzed for big data strategies."
*In the U.S. B2B indirect channel access point market The NPD Group is showing HPE/Aruba as a combined company in the wireless networking space.