Cisco Blogs

WLAN Market Claims vs Reality

November 27, 2007 - 1 Comment

There have been enterprise WLAN vendor claims recently relating to market performance and market share. In particular, Aruba Networks has been making bold statements about major market share gains at the expense of Cisco. Wanted to provide, to quote that food critic from Ratatouille (ok — yes, I’ve watched it twice recently — my kids love it) “some perspective”The Claim: Aruba’s CEO, Dominic Orr, claimed on their earnings call last week that his company was rapidly gaining market share in the Enterprise WLAN market.Some perspective: The Dell’Oro Group, a widely respected industry analyst firm, just released new market share numbers last week. The results: The Dell’Oro Group reported that Cisco extended its market share lead to 63 percent in the Enterprise WLAN market, which includes WLAN controllers and access points. This performance came at the expense of the No. 2 (Aruba) and No. 3 (Motorola) vendors in the market, who both hold market share positions of under 10 percent and showed sequential declines in revenue from Q2 2007 to Q3 2007. Some more perspective: In the critical WLAN controller market, Dell’Oro reported that Cisco sequentially gained 4 points of share in Q3, while the distant No. 2 player Aruba Networks lost more than 3 points of share due to declining controller shipments. In the past two years since the introduction of Cisco’s Unified Wireless Network, Cisco has gone from 31% share to today’s 54%. Aruba has gone from 9% to 13% over the same time period.And from another source: Synergy Research, another respected, indepedent authority, reported Enterprise WLAN market share for Cisco of 64 percent. Synergy also reports that Cisco’s share has grown from 46 percent in Q1 2005, the quarter when Cisco acquired Airespace, to the most recent quarter share at 64 percent. These 18 points of market share gain over the past three years significantly outpace all competitors, which according to Synergy all individually fall below 10 percent of share.Everything listed above is based on independent, non-commissioned analyst data, with permission given by each firm for me to cite here. www.delloro.comwww.srgresearch.comMy point? That Cisco continues to strongly lead this market, and grow its share over time? Well .. yes. But also to provide a counter to claims that big companies can’t be agile and compete in fast-growing markets. Both topics were addressed by Aruba’s CEO in what I felt was in misleading fashion, particularly in light of the data just released above. So I post this not with chest-thumping, but to offer up a more facts-based response to some public statements. Plus, it’s fun when the numbers are on your side 🙂

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  1. Ben, have enjoyed reading much of your marketing data. As NA Mobility strategist for DiData, would appreciate any industry-specifc data you would be willing to share. Am creating presentations for healthcare, govenment, education and enterprise; specifically, any WLAN projections in this area would be terrific.Cheers,Steve Buhler, NSS, Wireless & Mobility