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Brocade/Ruckus buyout: No impact on partners for now

Today’s news that Brocade Communications Systems Inc. has made a $1.2 billion bid for Ruckus Wireless will impact channel partners of both companies, but don’t expect details until the deal closes sometime in Brocade’s third fiscal quarter of 2016.

This latest acquisition for Brocade will add Wi-Fi infrastructure products to the company’s portfolio.

“From our perspective, the [Brocade and Ruckus] technologies compliment each other. They don’t overlap,” said Pete Peterson, vice president of global channel sales at Brocade. “We have a strong channel ecosystem, as does Ruckus, and not a lot of overlap in the channel, so we think there’s an opportunity for our existing partners to sell more Ruckus solutions and for Ruckus partners to sell more Brocade solutions. And more importantly, the combined partner ecosystem will have the ability to fulfill the new digital networking capability that nobody in our particular network space has on their line card today.”

For now, partners should expect business as usual, according to the Brocade channel chief. When the acquisition is completed, partners will be able to sell from the data center to the wireless network edge.

While some Brocade partners may have been delivering this network capability by combining multiple vendors’ products (including Ruckus technology), channel partners can soon deliver it through a single vendor brand.

“We’ve been partnering with other vendors, including Ruckus, for quite some time, and it has worked out well for us. Even after the acquisition, we’ll continue to build on our open standards-based portfolio and continue to work with other networking vendors,” Peterson said.

The Ruckus Wireless acquisition won’t be Brocade’s first time combining vendor channel organizations, which has been part and parcel of acquisitions it has made over the years. In 2015, Brocade acquired the Steel App business unit from Riverbed Technology, as well as Evolved Packet Core specialist Connectem. The previous year, Brocade purchased Vistapointe, and, in 2012, acquired Vyatta. Back in 2008, Brocade acquired Foundry Networks.

Ruckus Wireless will operate as a wholly owned wireless network business unit led by Ruckus CEO Selina Lo, who will report to Brocade CEO Lloyd Carney.

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