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Wireless Disrupter Cradlepoint: 'We're In The Eye Of The Storm'

As Machine-to-Machine and the Internet of Things spaces continue to heat up, Cradlepoint says its products put the company -- and its partners -- in prime position for growth.

Cradlepoint, a global leader in 3G/4G network solutions, said it is in prime position as the Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things spaces take off.

The Boise, Idaho-based vendor has achieved greater than 50 percent CAGR, it said, and has quadrupled company revenue over the past three years, while also crossing the 1 million deployment mark last summer.

"There's nobody that's doing what we're doing, and we do have the market advantage right now in the LTE space and in routing/switching LTE -- that's where our specialty is," said Adnon Dow, senior vice president of global channel sales and alliances at Cradlepoint, in an interview with CRN. "I think it's a perfect storm, and we're right in the eye of the storm in terms of what we're doing and in the investments our company has made."

[Related: Q&A: New Unify CTO Talks Partners, Internet Of Things ]

Cradlepoint competes in the Wi-Fi, M2M and networking routing markets. Success hinges on three core components, according to Dow: being first to market, providing higher margins to partners, and differentiating its product line.

"All of our products do LTE," said Dow. "Our products allow you to do Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, end routing switching -- all in the same box, which is very different from our competitors."

Cradlepoint specializes in 4G LTE routers for M2M, Internet of Things and transportation, which can be used in vending machines, ambulances or mass transit vehicles.


"If you go to any Redbox, there's a little antenna on the top -- it's likely connected to a Cradlepoint modem inside," said John Schissel, president of Source Inc., a Shawnee, Kan.-based wireless solution provider and longtime Cradlepoint partner.

Schissel said a popular product is Cradlepoint's new COR IBR1100 Series router designed for mission-critical connectivity in challenging environments, such as in police cars.

"That is a device that we're really starting to deploy. ... It's well-made and backed up by [Cradlepoint's] services,’ said Schissel.

Cradlepoint’s product portfolio also includes an enterprise cloud manager network management and application platform that integrates with LTE, as well as 3G/4G broadband routers for small business, retailers and home offices.

Because of products such as the IBR1100 and being a leader in LTE, Cradlepoint stands to grow even further as the Internet of Things and M2M market opportunities increase, according to Dow.

"The ease of deployment allows you to really go out and install [Cradlepoint routers] with minimal capability because it's cloud-based and you can push out configurations and management, instead of rolling out a truck every time something needs to be repaired," said Dow. "We've been able to provide our channel an opportunity in the market that's not only unique and differentiated, but a product line that allows them robust margins."


In 2014, the number of Cradlepoint partners with sales of more than $1 million doubled, Dow said. The company is focusing on giving its top channel partners additional tools, automation and channel account managers, according to Dow.

"We have a very structured channel program to enable our partners to maximize the margin opportunity, rather than going out there and having a bloodbath and competing with others," said Dow.

Source Inc.’s Schissel said Cradlepoint’s first-to-market strategy combined with the ease of deployment is a hit with customers.

"They've taken the complexity out of rolling things out in the end-to-end space, and making those connections a lot easier to deploy," said Schissel. "Some other devices are just a lot more complex. And from a customer standpoint, they don’t want to have a long, complex rollout, they want [it] almost turnkey ... and that's what [Cradlepoint] is doing."

Schissel said by having LTE and remote cloud services deployment, customers never need to physically interact with the product, which saves time and money.

"You don't have to ever go touch that box as long as there's a SIM card it in," said Schissel. "Then if you need to redeploy, it's just as easy without having to physically roll the truck out, touch that device, reconfigure it -- you can just push it over the air."


With around 50 billion Internet-connected devices expected by 2020, Dow said, Cradlepoint stands to gain significant market share, because those devices will need 3G and 4G capabilities, said Dow.

"With the expansion of our product line, we're going to be able to get into new markets and as we start to see the Internet of Things and M2M explode, we are clearly on the forefront of that," he said.

PUBLISHED MARCH 19, 2015

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