50 Best Workplaces of The Year 2018

An Interview with Ian Whiting, Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company President: ‘We Redefine Connectivity’


“We build the best-performing products that are remarkably easy for our customers to deploy, manage and scale.”

Nowadays, Wi-Fi seems like a staple ingredient that any business owner would add to their recipe for success. Then again, most small business owners don’t offer Wi-Fi to their customers – and not all big box merchants or businesses do, either. The irony is thick, so to speak, considering consumers walk around with smartphones glued to their palms and expect quick, easy access to the internet nearly anywhere they go. With this mind, why wouldn’t small business owners, and all business owners for that matter, want to offer their customers Wi-Fi?

In light of the above-mentioned scenario, we are thrilled to present Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company.

Ruckus is a global innovator in networking technology. It has continually worked to transform the experience of entertainment and communications for millions of people around the world. The company is dedicated to the success of its customers, bringing a passion for invention that has fueled its history.

Ruckus originally created digital TV, delivered the first wireless broadband gateway and is pioneering the standards and pathways for tomorrow’s personalized, Ultra HD, multiscreen, and cloud services.

The company was incorporated in 2002 and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.

Ian Whiting, Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company, President, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Rewind: Taking Flight

Ruckus Wireless was incorporated around a pioneering technology for video streaming in the home. Even as Ruckus grew and moved from the residential into the enterprise market, this out-front performance has been a point of pride. This is what we’re known for, and it’s measurable. If you test a Ruckus product against a comparable product from any company, small or large, Ruckus outperforms its competitors by 20 percent. This gives us a powerful relationship with our customers who love that we’re a challenger. We take on the best-known industry heavyweights and build a better mousetrap.

Our performance has also led to rabid loyalty from our channel partners and service providers. They know that when they bring Ruckus products into a customer site, the product is going to work flawlessly when they take it out of the box and that it will always test better against competitors.

This is at the heart of our culture: we build the best-performing products that are remarkably easy for people to deploy, manage and scale. Performance and simplicity form the foundation of everything we do and everything we stand for, and it’s what separates us from competitors. That’s been true from the beginning and it gave us a firm foundation to keep our footing, even while everything around us changed.

Factors: That Make Ruckus Stand Out From the Competition

Early Ruckus values still form the foundation of its culture today.

Innovation: We don’t accept the status quo in the industry. We were the first to realize that enterprises buy Wi-Fi through service providers and thus architected our solutions for the service provider model; we are still number one today. As a result of that, we were the first to deliver a private cloud-enabled WLAN (a feature needed by the service providers but now leveraged by many of our managed service provider partners) – far ahead of Meraki which only offers a public cloud solution. Also, we were the first to support LAN, Wireless LAN, IoT and LTE on a single edge network infrastructure.We are always skating to where the puck is going (Wayne Gretzky). This is what gives us the competitive edge against our larger competitors who are burdened by the momentum of the status quo.

Ruckus: Building a Positive Company Culture

Yes, absolutely. We have three critical aspects of culture.

First of all, we have established a strong sense of loyalty to our partners and customers. Throughout the changes in our ownership, we never lost sight of the fact that customers and partners were relying on us to pull through. This puts adversity in perspective—maintaining confidence in our company and our products helped us put our own anxiety in perspective.

Second, we have a stubborn sense of mission and competitiveness. We simply would not let the changes that were happening have an impact on our ability to win in the market. This is no different than a team sport where it’s clear that there is something bigger motivating the players than just showing up.

That something bigger is the improvement of people’s lives through the better connectivity of anything anywhere. In impoverished areas, this could mean getting into the internet for the very first time or being able to do online homework after school. It could also mean enabling shared experiences across communities of like-minded strangers (connected fans sharing the ‘thrill of victory and the agony of defeat’). It could mean dramatic increases in operational efficiency freeing up capital for new innovations. Finally, it could mean safer environments from employees/residents with panic buttons to threat detection and warning systems. It’s simple – we are a core part of the ecosystem that is making the world a better place for all.

Last, and perhaps most importantly, there is a strong sense of trust among employees that permeated throughout the organization. This trust is rooted in authentic communication and action. The management team was ready to get involved in even the smallest detail to go the extra mile for a customer and teams relied on each other to get through the integration milestones, knowing that we would look out for each other if we ran into an obstacle.

Ian Whiting: A Brief Background

Ian Whiting is President of ARRIS Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company – a dedicated business unit within ARRIS. In this role, he leads the company’s focus on enabling constant, wireless and wired connectivity across complex and varied networking environments—serving enterprises and service providers across multiple verticals, including education, retail, hospitality, multi-dwelling units,  smart cities, public sector, and others.

Mr. Whiting joined ARRIS through its acquisition of the Ruckus Wireless and Ethernet Switching businesses. At Ruckus, he served as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), leading the global enterprise and service provider sales teams and the marketing organization. In this role, he led a major expansion of the Ruckus partner ecosystem to include global Systems Integrators and OEMs and broadened Ruckus’ presence and leadership in key vertical markets through the implementation of a direct touch sales model. He also introduced solutions for service providers that enabled them to deliver new managed Wi-Fi services for enterprise customers as well as large-scale public Wi-Fi deployments.

Prior to Ruckus Networks, Mr. Whiting spent the early part of his career in Europe running sales and marketing organizations for companies including Compaq and Brocade. He moved to the US in 2005 to manage the global sales and marketing team at Brocade Communications. Over the next eight years, as part of the executive team, he helped drive the growth of Brocade to over $2B in annual revenues, becoming the market leader in storage and IP networking. After Brocade, Mr. Whiting held the top sales leadership position at Riverbed and Fusion-io before joining Ruckus in 2015.

Mr. Whiting holds a Master’s degree in business from Cranfield University and a Bachelor’s degree in French and German from the University of Wales.

“Collaborating with our customers, we will continue to solve the most pressing challenges of 21st-century communications. Together, we are inventing the future.”