Consolidation in the Wi-Fi industry is almost over

Martyn Warwick
By Martyn Warwick

Nov 20, 2018

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Rick Wilmer, General Manager, Arista

Consolidation in the Wi-Fi industry has been underway for some years now and the ongoing series of mergers and acquisitions has been driven by the fact that Wi-Fi is fast becoming a mission-critical technology. These days, in an increasing number of places and organisations the only way to get onto the network is with Wi-Fi and in the consumer arena Wi-Fi is now a given fundamental for connectivity. Furthermore, because Wi-Fi is so critical as an edge and connectivity technology, every big networking company that wants to play in that space needs a Wi-Fi asset. This has driven a consolidation wave that is now all but over because, as Rick Wilmer says, there are almost no small or even medium-sized Wi-Fi companies out there to be acquired.

However, and unfortunately, consolidation has not solved the issues of network complexity, network management or automated problem resolution. That's because over the years there has been a lot of consolidation in the industry outside the Wi-Fi sector and not only has that failed to solve some problems, in many cases it has exacerbated them. Big companies have made acquisitions to get themselves into new product segments but once those acquisitions are made they have not integrated the solutions they provided into the rest of their product suite.

The result? A network landscape littered with vertical silos with no common network system, operating system or hardware platform and that makes network management incredibly complex and cumbersome. Arista's vision is to demolish the vertical silos and bring everything together under a single, horizontal, overarching consolidated solution and, by so doing, to render obsolete the network monitoring sector that only came into existence in the first place because of the proliferation of vertical silos. It really is an example of killing two birds with one stone.

Filmed at Wireless Global Congress, London 2018

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