10 Networking Predictions For 2014


Managed Wi-Fi Becomes VAR Sweet Spot

Solution providers told CRN last year that managed Wi-Fi -- or Wi-Fi-as-a-service -- presented a major new opportunity for them to bulk up their broader services portfolios and build up a recurring revenue stream. And given the number of vendors that launched Wi-Fi-as-a-service offerings, and even partner programs around them, in 2013, it seems that that opportunity is only set to grow over the next 12 months.

Last year alone, vendors including Cisco, Adtran, Enterasys and PowerCloud unveiled products or partner initiatives around Wi-Fi-as-a-service. Enterasys, for its part, rolled out a cloud Wi-Fi platform that's designed to be fully hosted and managed by partners. Enterasys solution providers hailed the move a game-changer.

"It means we'll be in touch with our customers or clients more often, which gives us more of an opportunity to upsell or sell other products or services," said Chip Thompson, general manager at LevelOne Technology, a Waco, Texas-based solution provider.