Miami Big Dogs
This year Ruckus held their Big Dogs conference in Miami. 8 days after Hurricane Irma made landfall on the west coast of Florida. There was some speculation that the conference would be canceled or postponed. The community pulled together and started getting the city back on its feet right away. Ruckus sent a crew to Miami to see if the conference could go on and the decision was made to go forward.
They made the right decision. Everything from the airport, to the roads, to the restaurants, and hotels were ready for tourism to return. There were piles of debris on just about every street, traffic lights were still out, police were everywhere, but Miami was quickly getting back on its feet.
Without going into any of the proprietary details, I will highlight some of my takeaways from the show here.
The acquisition roller coaster
The message here is, once the Arris purchase is finalized Ruckus (and Brocade ICX) will be an independent business entity under the Arris umbrella. Brocade ICX switching will be folded into Ruckus and all Brocade badging will change to Ruckus. According to Ruckus Chief Commercial Officer Ian Whiting, the merger with Brocade has doubled the sales staff. Most importantly to the SE's in the VAR community, this includes Sales Engineers. Ian says that they are quickly training everyone up cross platform. His words, "we are pretty much there". Cross your fingers. This hasn't been the case recently. The sales workflow will be merged into a single front end, at support.ruckuswireless.com.
This year they are adding specialist pipelines to the Big Dog / Top Dog levels. New emphasis will be placed on Hospitality, Smart City, and Education by having their own specialized program paths. These will now be sub categories at the Elite level, and there will be a one year ramp up period to get everyone trained, certified, and qualified to participate.
Cloudpath, Ruckus Cloud, Unleashed, Wired and Wireless, Smart City, Hospitality, Federal, Education, New Badges, Vendor Hosting,
Some non-specific words that may or may not have been mentioned this week
Single pane of glass for AP and switch management, 802.11ax, 2.5Gb switch ports, OFDMA, 1024 QAM, per-packet adaptive power, IOT bolt on, Unleashed WLAN across multiple locations, SZ historical client diagnostics, predictive analysis, 802.3bz, 802.3bt, UPOE (60W) PoH (95W), OpenG, LTE integrated AP, External BeamFlex antenna...
I came away with an improved feeling about the future of the Ruckus brand after all of the acquisitions, mergers, and spin offs. All signs point toward Arris allowing Ruckus to keep up the good work. Bringing in Brocade switching will help partners provide a more complete offering. Imagine the possibility of Arris adding product to the portfolio. We may be able to have an end to end WLAN solution for the customer from the AP to the router.
One recommendation for Ruckus. Some of us are coming from a relationship with Ruckus while others have a history selling Brocade. Allow each of us to get comfortable with the other line without cramming it down our throat on every interaction. Look, we do what we do, and when we feel comfortable with the new line, we will start selling it. Your job is to make sure we are comfortable, not to try to shoehorn a switch into every WiFi job or vice-versa. Oh, did I say that out loud? We will get there, don't spoil it.