Cisco: 3 Million's a Charm
The firm is the undisputed leader in the enterprise 802.11 marketplace with a 57.7 percent slice of the enterprise pie at last count. (See Cisco's WLAN Stranglehold.) The firm's 1200 series APs continue to drive sales.
"Bar none, it's the 1200 series," says Cisco's Alan Cohen. "In particular the 1242, which has been out for nine months now."
The 1242, which sells for anywhere between $550 and $800 apiece, can utilize the centralized architecture and technology that Cisco acquired when it bought Airespace in December 2005 for $450 million. The 1242 can either operate as a standalone AP or be managed via a switch.
An industry source familiar with Cisco's AP business says that the company has been very keen on migrating customers to the post-Airespace boxes. He reckons that the firm may have shipped up to a million APs in the last nine months.
"By our count Cisco has shipped over 3.1 million "enterprise" APs since 2000 -- with around 2 million of those being shipped prior to the Airespace acquisition," says Aaron Vance, analyst at the Synergy Research Group Inc. "The Linksys numbers are much higher."
So, where does Cisco go from here? "Business growth is not dependent on market share gains as much as it is growing the overall market for mobility," says Cohen.
Cisco will do that, he says, by evolving standalone product lines into "platforms" on which users can create business applications. This will involve bringing together technologies such as fixed/mobile convergence, presence, location, and WiFi.
It's possible to glean how some of this might take shape through Cisco's work on FMC applications with Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) (See Cisco, Nokia Team on FMC.) This project is expected to enable calls to be routed to Nokia handsets over corporate WiFi infrastructure.
Just one more step on the path to becoming what Cohen calls a "mega-mobility vendor." — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung