Fortinet Announces Plan to Acquire Meru Networks

Fortinet Acquires Meru NetworksFortinet has announced last week that it intends to acquire Meru Networks, a move that could see further consolidation of the enterprise WLAN market after other recent high-profile acquisitions, such as HP buying up Aruba.

The deal is currently valued at $44 million, although Meru itself is valued at $90.9 million, so unless there is something wrong with Meru that we don’t know about, it looks like Fortinet is getting a pretty good deal.

Fortinet’s VP of Americas Sales, Joe Sykora, explained some of the reasoning behind the offer:

Right now, we’ve dominated the enterprise on the security side and we’ve had some things we’ve needed to penetrate that enterprise wireless market. [The Meru acquisition] will give us the technology and tools we and our partners need to succeed in this market.

In other words, the purchase is an attempt to gain market share in the enterprise WLAN market, which Fortinet has had trouble doing thus far, according to CRN. Additionally, Fortinet sees its partners looking to combine mobility and security functionality, and thus buying an enterprise WLAN provider helps better satisfy those partners. Further towards that end, Fortinet  also “announced the launch of a new FortiGuard Mobile Security subscription service.” FortiGuard is designed “to secure mobile devices and applications in bring your own device enterprise settings.”

This acquisition also means that Fortinet will now be going into “head-to-head” competition with some of the big boys like Cisco and HP. Sykora is confident however that Fortinet, with Meru’s tech and market share in its hands, will be able to step up to the challenge:

The solution is unique — we’re doing secure wireless. We’re not just doing wireless as an extension of the network. The wireless security layer is not present in the market today…

[The Meru acquisition] will give us a jump-start in some of those deals we haven’t been able to get over the hump.

More sales and more marketshare… but can Fortinet deliver the goods? Only time will tell.

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Doug Atkinson

President at Solutions Review
An entrepreneur and executive with a passion for enterprise technology, Doug founded Solutions Review in 2012. He has previously served as a newspaper boy, a McDonald's grill cook, a bartender, a political consultant, a web developer, the VP of Sales for e-Dialog - a digital marketing agency - and as Special Assistant to Governor William Weld of Massachusetts.
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