Top five acquisition U-turns that burned the channel

Doug Woodburn
clock
Top five acquisition U-turns that burned the channel

SonicWall's CEO this week opened up on the issues its brief ownership by Dell caused partners. But it's not the only example of an acquisition volte-face by a large vendor causing pain for the channel

SonicWall's executives this week opened up about the struggles the firewall vendor and its partners endured during the brief period it was owned by Dell.

Innovation had "stagnated", and by the end of Dell's ownership of the firm partners had lost the ability to make money from selling and servicing its portfolio, they told CRN.

But SonicWall isn't the first and won't be the last specialist brand that is bought - and then promptly sold on - by a vendor giant that has failed to add value, often to the detriment of the channel.

Here we count down the top five.

5) Brocade and Ruckus Wireless

All too often, a specialist brand that has set the market alight is acquired, but is then left to fester rather than flourish under its new owner.

Brocade's brief and confusing tenure in charge of Ruckus not only caused the wireless vendor's market value to plummet, but also sparked disruption and uncertainty for its partners.

Brocade acquired Ruckus for $1.5bn last April but the fast-growing wireless LAN vendor was left in ownership limbo when just seven months later Broadcom announced it was buying Brocade. Broadcom made it clear from the outset that it only wanted Brocade's storage business, and a separate deal for Ruckus and Brocade's wider network edge business was eventually agreed with consumer comms firm Arris in February for a knock-down price of $800m.

The ownership pass-the-parcel evidently took its toll on Ruckus' valuation as a business, and also made partners twitchy.

Murray Pearce, UK managing director of Ruckus distributor Infinigate, told CRN in February that he was "cautiously optimistic" at the identity of Ruckus' new owner, which intends to run Ruckus as a separate unit.

"What people don't like is uncertainty," he said at the time. "Now we can look at the new owner and look at their intentions and plans. The first thing to say is that the business has not gone to a company that is incompatible with our business and the channel. They have reiterated to us the importance of the channel."

This article continues on the next page

More on Research

Partner Insight: The case for heat-free: Why environmentally friendly printing doesn't have to compromise on performance

Partner Insight: The case for heat-free: Why environmentally friendly printing doesn't have to compromise on performance

Epson
clock 28 September 2021 • 4 min read
Almost one third of all employees worldwide will be remote workers by the end of 2021, Gartner predicts

Almost one third of all employees worldwide will be remote workers by the end of 2021, Gartner predicts

32 per cent of the global workforce and 51 per cent of knowledge workers worldwide are expected to spend at least some time outside of the office

clock 22 June 2021 • 4 min read
UK has ten times more tech unicorns than a decade ago, report finds

UK has ten times more tech unicorns than a decade ago, report finds

Tech companies worth more than $1bn have soared in the last ten years according to new research

clock 19 May 2021 • 2 min read

Highlights

Babble makes two more acquisitions to bring total to nine over past year

Babble makes two more acquisitions to bring total to nine over past year

Digital Communications Systems Ltd (DCS) and Halo Communications Ltd become the latest businesses to join Babble

clock 26 October 2021 • 2 min read
Arrow Electronics announces launch of new cloud channel programme for EMEA

Arrow Electronics announces launch of new cloud channel programme for EMEA

The Cloud Innovation Factory will enable organisations running software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications 'to expand their solutions'

clock 25 October 2021 • 1 min read
Northern Ireland-based MSP Xperience acquires Microsoft and Sophos partner Green Duck

Northern Ireland-based MSP Xperience acquires Microsoft and Sophos partner Green Duck

'Growth across the UK is a strategic priority' - Iain O’Kane, CEO of Xperience

clock 25 October 2021 • 2 min read