Behind Cradlepoint's move on the APAC wireless scene

Behind Cradlepoint's move on the APAC wireless scene

APAC channel chief John Boladian and SVP Nathan McGregor discuss the vendor's growth plans for the region.

John Boladian (Cradlepoint)

John Boladian (Cradlepoint)

Credit: Cradlepoint

More than a year after its US$1.1 billion acquisition by Ericsson, wireless edge vendor Cradlepoint is eyeing further expansion in Asia Pacific (APAC) through a refocused channel strategy. 

Speaking to ARN, APAC vice president for partner sales John Boladian said the vendor is now "engaging actively" directly with larger system integrators managed service providers across the region in order to grow its wireless and 5G offerings  

"And that is also part of our strategy; that direct engagement and providing partners with sales support and educational support," he explained. "It's also about helping them to develop a practice on Cradlepoint so that they can be successful in the target verticals that they're operating." 

Boladian first joined Cradlepoint in May last year and was tasked with increasing its partner revenue in the APAC region, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia. 

Four months later, Cradlepoint appointed Cisco Meraki veteran Nathan McGregor as senior vice president of sales across APAC. 

Now with a fully-fledged partner and sales team in both Australia and Singapore cemented, Boladian believes "there's a huge" opportunity with partners such as SIs and MSPs, as well as with its ongoing partnership with Optus.

"So, we've got to make sure we can service all that market and make sure they know about us, and so we can enable and support that group of channel partners," he said. 

"This comes from a partner agreement and the certified products that I'll be taking to market. It's a mobile, cellular world now. If you're certified and taken through those partner programs you have a really significant opportunity." 

Indeed, as Boladian adds, Cradlepoint's agreements with the likes of Telstra and Optus will enable channel players to make higher stake moves within the competitive wireless and landscape.  

However, an "obstacle" for Cradlepoint remains with blending both managed services with 5G.

"We could potentially see some huge opportunities next year for MSPs, especially in the mobility and in the wireless space," said Boladian. "We managed to get many partners under the managed service program and are continuing to help them with it because there's this huge 5G upskill required." 

Nathan McGregor (Cradlepoint)Credit: Cradlepoint
Nathan McGregor (Cradlepoint)

While McGregor foresees huge growth in wireless and LAN markets, 5G, as well as internet of things (IoT), are where the vendor is eyeing particular opportunities.  

"There's great synergies between the business of Ericsson and the carriers for its rollout of 5G and other mobility," McGregor said.  

Following on from its success in the US with ruggedised 5G, McGregor hopes this area will translate well in the wider Asia region, having already seen a big uptake in Australia and New Zealand. In particular, in A/NZ, emergency services has proved a natural extension from its US success.  

"So, we saw that translate a lot into the market here in Australia and New Zealand," he said. "We'll continue to see that growth; we're seeing lots of tenders and RFIs coming out in that space for us. 

"There's the immediate opportunity across all segments of the market to simply just go with a mobile backup solution." 

"So, putting mobile 5G adapters in front of existing networks without having to make wholesale changes to the way operating and supplying networking," he added. "That's an easy win." 

In Australia in particular, 5G is going to be a key focus as 2022 gets underway.

"The [federal] government is really trying to look at that as a technology that they want to invest in as a form of communication, whether it's a replacement for their fixed infrastructure or going with purely mobility for some of their key areas, like emergency services or training or now moving in more into transportation," McGregor said. "We see partners are really looking at that as a potential business opportunity." 

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