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Mobile Communications

Brocade buying Ruckus Wireless for $1.2 billion

Networking hardware vendor Brocade announced today that it would add a wireless infrastructure club to its bag in the form of Ruckus Wireless, as part of a deal with a net value of $1.2 billion.

The objective, according to Brocade’s public statement, is to broaden the company’s enterprise networking stable and boost profits, since wireless is a growth area. Like any merger of this type, the idea seems to be to offer a unitary set of products and services.

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Ruckus will operate as a division of Brocade under its current CEO, Selina Lo – who will report directly to Brocade CEO Lloyd Carney – which suggests that the wireless company is set to work much as it did before. Current customers are hopeful about the move.

Vijay Sammeta, CIO of the city of San Jose, said his department works with both Brocade and Ruckus, and he’s pleased with the news that the companies are merging.

“For us, I think this is the best possible outcome,” he told Network World. “We’ve run multiple RFPs to look for best-of-breed solutions, and it’s nice to see both of those best-of-breed solutions coming together.”

Sammeta also highlighted that the two companies have past experience in working together. “I would say we look forward to seeing how this strengthens that integration,” he added.

For those who aren’t customers of both companies at the same time, the outlook is less rosy, but still reasonably positive. David Johnston, the principal for Fresh Group Wireless, a Canadian Ruckus value-added reseller, said that he’s waiting to see what happens in the wake of the news.

“Brocade is a quality company, I do like their product. It’s a good move on their part, so I don’t really have any problem with that,” he said. “As with any merger, you worry about whether they’re going to change product lines, or … restructure the channels.”

And, Johnston said, it could have been worse; if Ruckus had been acquired by Cisco, for example, that would mean a less competitive wireless marketplace.

“[The deal] keeps them as the third player in the market,” he said. “And competition is good, it gives everybody choices – me included.”

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