The Next Great Wireless LAN Vendor

I wrote this as a guest post for An Information Security Place, but republished here for my readers.


Yesterday was one of the few days that I bought a hard copy of the USA Today newspaper.  I get the Arizona Republic paper delivered to the house daily. I even get six copies of the Sunday paper  (don’t ask…)  I bought it because one headline on the cover page of the USA Today caught my attention.  It was “Who Might Rise From the Wreckage” with a subtitle of “It’s happened before – Cisco and MySpace emerged in tough times.  Tech can bloom again“.

The headline and subtitle brought up a good point.   In the economic crash of the late 1980’s, Cisco began it’s rise as one of the large tech companies.  The article mentions Facebook and MySpace as companies who had a similar rise after the dot-com crash.  Personally, I remember two *other* (more relevant to networking) companies who accomplished a similar jump in market share in the wake of the dot-com crash – Foundry Networks and Extreme Networks.

This economic downturn presents the same opportunity for tech companies to rise out of the aftermath stronger than when they entered.  Who are likely candidates this go-around?   I would suggest that the opportunity is particularly ripe for Wireless LAN vendors.

Why?  There are several reasons WLAN manufacturers have an opportunity to grab market share in this economy, especially compared to their wired counterparts.  Most reasons point back to the fact that organizations are now forced to do more with less.

During these times companies…

  • need to get more out of their employees – WLANs enable their employees to be connected everywhere in their enterprise all the time
  • will not want to invest in permanent infrastructure – WLANs can easily be moved from location to location vs. desktop switches / cabling
  • will want even tighter security because of dismissed employees and competitive pressures – WLANs allow for easy deployment of 802.1X port based authentication and can execute rapid adds and deletes

Which WLAN vendor is poised to take advantage of such a situation?  Aerohive? Bluesocket? Meru? Rukus? Xirrus?  Let me know what you think in the comments section!  Be sure to state specific reasons that you think one vendor will be able to gain more market share than another.  Also, if you like this post, check out my blog for related info such as 50 Questions K-12 School Districts Should Ask WLAN Vendors.

WiFi Jedi


2 comments so far

  1. Shane Moore on

    Great blog, I should have been reading this months ago. There are many great WLAN products on the marketplace today. As it stands today, Aerohive has the most exciting technology that I’ve seen. I do agree that Xirrus has a unique play, and is the right fit for some applications – I’m just not sure it fits all applications (but then again, what does:). The ability to use HiveManager in a hosted environment for multiple customers is a big advantage for Aerohive, along with the distributed architecture and no licenses!

    Thanks for all the info you provide on the blog.

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