2018: Year of The Wireless WAN Solution

My 1-year old Golden Retriever ‘Timber’ will be thrilled to learn that 2018 is the Chinese Year of The Earth Dog. I’m not however quite sure what other benefits he could garner from this New Year celebration other than his already coveted 2 walks/day, marrow filled bones, and countless belly rubs, but when I think about the characteristics of those born this year I can’t help but see the parallels with what is also underway at Cradlepoint.  

In the Chinese Zodiac, those born under the sign of the Dog symbolize character traits such as loyalty, compatibility and kindness. ‘Dogs’ frequently offer kind words and useful advice, always listening and lending a shoulder when necessary. They often become deeply involved in others’ lives. Ensuring others are happy is more important to the Dog than wealth, money or success.

As we celebrated the New Year and the Year of the Dog, Cradlepoint was also celebrating a brand new go-to-market model that shares many of the same characteristics exemplified above.  Listening to evolving market dynamics, partners, and customers alike spured us to think of a better way to deliver software-driven and cloud-delivered wireless wide area networks (WANs). We have demonstrated our ambition by taking a lead role in the shift from inflexible enterprise network solutions and resource-intensive hardware-first approach, to a software-first and cloud-delivered model.   And here is where the parallel to the Chinese Year of the Earth Dog characteristic of kindness comes in…….. we’ve done so with some of the most competitive pricing ever seen in the market.

Launched in January was a solution-based model that enables customers to buy a complete, best-practice based Cradlepoint network solution service and gain benefits that are typically attributed to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), including an easier and more efficient buying and deployment experience, faster ROI, and with us as the vendor consultant, constantly offering useful advice in the interest of customer success.

Our NetCloud Solution Packages target the three market segments we operate in today – branch, mobile and IoT networking – and are available in one, three and five year terms. The packages include:

  • NetCloud edge routing, security, and cloud management features,
  • a choice of fit-for-purpose endpoint hardware and integrated 4G LTE modems, backed by a lifetime warranty,
  • Cradlepoint 24x7 support with phone, live chat, and Knowledge Base access.

The solution packages also include SD-WAN and SDP (software-defined perimeter) capabilities. This means customers can connect branches with optimal performance and availability (SD-WAN) while securing the things and people that interact with them over the Internet (SDP). By embedding the technologies in the packages, we at Cradlepoint are providing tremendous additional value to customers.

But why have we taken this approach and why now? Put simply: it’s the way the market is going. As 451 senior research analyst Jim Duffy explains: “Branch networks are undergoing dramatic change. More cloud applications, mobile and IoT devices mean the need for more wireless LAN connectivity, WAN reliability, and security options to support direct internet access and IoT. For smaller footprint branch sites, these requirements are driving the convergence of multiple boxes into a unified, software-defined wireless solution that extends 4G LTE and WLAN connectivity, provides tighter integration of policy, visibility and security functions, and can be managed end-to-end from the cloud.”

We also see IT infrastructure evolving from the buy-it-and-build-it approach, to consume-as-a-service. Cradlepoint NetCloud Solution Packages acknowledge this trend and represent the next step in our Elastic Edge strategy for bringing the simplicity, elasticity, and economic advantages of software and cloud services to wireless wide-area networking—creating customer value across the entire lifecycle.

Instead of having to navigate a myriad of separately priced software, hardware and support options, Cradlepoint can now deliver a complete wireless branch solution with just two or three SKUs, including the cloud management and support required to be deployed and operational quickly and easily.

What do these changes mean for our channel partners? Loyalty hopefully is one.  We’ve listended to our partners who have asked for more competitive solutions, easier to identify the right deployment configuration, that are easier to order, sell, and support…… all with a much coveted recurring revenue option.  We listened and piloted the solution packages with partners in the fourth quarter of 2017. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Why? Because the bundled approach aligns solutions more effectively for them and their customers, enabling partners to hit it big on 3 key important benefits:

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  1. The ability to quickly demo, price, propose, and order best-practice and field tested solutions
  2. Activating the inherent benefits of more competitive and predictable recurring revenues,
  3. The enablement of a closer consultancy with end customers over the lifetime of the solution instead of just selling & forgetting a hardware only sale.

The success of cloud and as-a-service has helped establish the recurring revenue model as a mainstream purchasing option for many organisations. By integrating the components of its hardware, software and service offerings in NetCloud Solution Packages, Cradlepoint has better aligned its business model with the desires here in 2018 from our partners and end-users.   Its certainly a new year and a new model that will undoubtably dog our competitors for years to come.

3-POINTERS are brought to you by Cradlepoint’s Global Vice President of Channel Marketing Robert Auci, with the goal of enabling our channel partners to score big in business and the art of marketing.