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Aerohive eyes Ruckus channel in 'flagging competitor landscape'

22 Nov 2016

Aerohive is eyeing up the Ruckus reseller channel as it seeks to expand its own reach and capitalise on new growth markets locally while also capitalising on ‘a flagging competitor landscape’.

Jennifer Capewell, Aerohive Networks senior international channel marketing manager, says Broadcom’s US$5.5 billion acquisition of Brocade - which acquired Ruckus just six months ago for US$1.2 billion - and its decision to sell the Ruckus business is creating instability for the channel - and an opportunity for Aerohive.

“It is impacting Aerohive in nothing other than a positive manner,” Capewell says of recent industry action.

“The market is in a state of flux. Everyone used to talk about Cisco and Meraki, but the big deals now are the Aruba HP scenario and more recently the Ruckus debacle - that’s how I would describe it.

“Within six months they have been sold twice.

“Even if Ruckus get bought again, from a partner perspective, three [ownership changes] in six or nine months is a wakeup call,” Capewell says.

She says Aerohive was already making inroads with Ruckus partners approaching Aerohive ‘in all territories’, prior to the latest reshuffling.

“I think we have a significant offer, a significant, legitimate solution and we will actively be assessing the Ruckus channel market for sure,” she adds.

“We have every opportunity to do great business together, particularly in Australia and New Zealand. There is ample opportunity with a flagging competitor landscape in a state of flux.”

The bolstering of the existing channel comes as Aerohive gears up for a new product announcement early next year, which Capewell says will result in a new ‘parallel or additional channel that will support our new business’.

While Capewell declined to provide any specifics of the new offering, she says ‘it is going to enable all our channel to find new ways to sell’.

For now, however, Capewell is pushing overlays as the way for channel partners to capture additional revenue.

“Wireless is no longer about speeds, feeds, bits. It’s about what else you can deliver.

“Wi-Fi is more than just a service, it is more than just connectivity - it can deliver you so much more whether you’re in enterprise, retail or education.”

Capewell says retail in particular has adopted the idea of Wi-Fi being simply a delivery mechanism for data.

“It’s all about the data in the retail space and that’s where we are winning our biggest and probably ‘sexiest’ deals.”

Earlier this month the vendor announced Auckland’s NorthWest Shopping Centre is deploying Aerohive’s full suite of retail solutions to bridge the online and physical shopping experience, offering Wi-Fi access for shoppers - and analytics for NorthWest via Aerohive’s Personalised Engagement Platform.

“It’s not a sell that’s based on wireless, it’s a sell that’s based on that technology overlay that delivers whatever you need it to deliver whether it’s foot fall analytics, dwell times, engagement… that’s where we find we are taking the most success,” Capewell says of the new Wi-Fi selling.

“Internationally we have a number of very well known global names that are adopting our technology, based on that overlay of services.

“We all know wireless is wireless, right. Anyone in this day and age can deliver wireless with decent connectivity. It is really about where your edge is, or where your difference is.

“Partners in both the UK and other regions like Italy that have taken our solutions and almost ripped it apart, rebuilt it over-layed their solutions offerings in a particular vein of retailer and are delivering something that is out of this world in terms of data delivery for customers.”

Beyond retail, Capewell says education continues to be a strong market for Aerohive.

“It’s much less down to wireless connectivity and down to engagement with students and the delivery of curricula over Wi-Fi and the additional apps and data management they can receive.”

Enterprise, too, is a key focus.

“It is the golden nugget,” Capewell says.

“It continues to be a profitable vertical for Aerohive and one that we spend a lot of our internal funding and program development and marketing engagement program on.”

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