When Arris acquires Ruckus Wireless later this year -- pending the sale of parent company Brocade to Broadcom -- the cable vendor will get more than a collection of wireless access products. It will also inherit a solution that pairs Ruckus access points with ICX switching technology for wired infrastructure. The combination means Arris will be able to sell a multi-gigabit offering to service providers and enterprise customers that enables high-speed WiFi access backhauled over existing local CAT 5e cabling.
The new multi-gigabit solution includes the Ruckus ICX 7150 Z-Series Switch, and the Ruckus R720 802.11ac Wave 2 access point.
The announcement today that Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) is merging its Ruckus and ICX product lines in a sign that it's laying the groundwork for the planned divestiture of both businesses to Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS). That $800 million deal is expected to grant the cable vendor entry into the enterprise networking market. Unfortunately, however, Arris can't close on the transaction until Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) completes its own acquisition of the bulk of Brocade's business. Initially, executives talked about a May or June closing date for the Broadcom/Brocade deal, but now Barron's reports that the process may stretch into July. (See Broadcom Buys Brocade for $5.9B, Will Ditch Ruckus & IP Biz and Is Ruckus Right for Arris?)
There are also reports that partners are getting antsy waiting for Ruckus to land at Arris. According to CRN, multiple unnamed executives at Ruckus partner companies have complained about losing customer deals because of the way Brocade has restructured its sales organization leading up to the Broadcom close. A Brocade executive reportedly even acknowledged the disruption while also saying the company is working to resolve the new challenges as quickly as possible.
In the announcement of the new Ruckus-plus-ICX solution, Brocade has worked to reassure the market that its partner and customer relationships are on track. The press release quotes partner Skinny IT on its satisfaction with the wired and wireless networking technology provided by Brocade at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. Partner company Vology also testifies on the reliability of Ruckus product delivery.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading