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Last week saw a number of important announcements to the world of enterprise wireless. In particular, the same day Aruba announced their 802.11ac wave two line of access points, Fortinet announced plans to acquire Meru Networks. Fortinet, a world leader in the cyber-security space, looks to position themselves as a compelling option in the enterprise wireless market with the addition of Meru's 33 patents that set it apart as a leading brand in seamless wireless roaming and capacity.
A compelling solution to BYOD and the Internet of Things
Analysts and experts have reasonably predicted a massive increase in the number of wireless devices competing for airtime on wireless networks over the next five years. Emerging technologies have made it easier than ever to apply WiFi capabilities to every-day devices, appliances, and wearables - from smart watches, to HVAC systems, to security cameras, and even washers and dryers. However, the proliferation of these devices not only puts a massive strain on the ability of existing infrastructures to properly handle all the competing signals, it also indicates substantial security concerns, as wireless data transfers are notoriously easy to access without authorization. The future of enterprise wireless network access demands not only systems that can service many devices at once, but also do so securely.
Fortinet already boasts highly secure WiFi solutions, including access points and security appliances that have been among the fastest growing in their advanced technology portfolio. Meru, on the other hand, has routinely blown the competition away when it comes to managing seamless connectivity for numerous devices across a single channel - patented technology that has given them a substantial edge in terms of capacity with 802.11ac wave one. There's no reason to believe they won't continue to enjoy that edge once they release wave two systems and devices. Both Ruckus and Aruba have already announced wave two product lines hitting the market by quarter 3 of this year.
Fortinet is shelling out $44 million at $1.63 per Meru share, and expected to conclude during the third quarter of this year. Not too shabby considering Meru reported $90.9 million in revenue for 2014, albeit down from $105.7 million in 2013.
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