Ruckus Wireless VP: Internet Of Things Heralds Channel Money-Maker

Emerging global trends such as the Internet of Things, the explosion of mobile devices and digital business transformations are setting up solution providers with new opportunities to grow their business, said David Callisch, vice president of corporate marketing at Ruckus Wireless.

Callisch, speaking during XChange 2015, an event hosted by The Channel Company, publisher of CRN, said the new demand for connectivity is a perfect "money-making" storm for partners -- if they know what services to add on top of wireless connectivity.

"We don't believe for today's reseller that pushing more boxes is really a long-term sustainable method for growing your business," said Callisch Sunday in a presentation to XChange attendees. "You can only make so much money from that … customers want services, they want engagement, and they want to plug things into the Wi-Fi that add value to their business."

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And there are ample opportunities to tap into. According to research firm IDC, sales for 802.11ac, the new emerging WLAN standard, will top $4.6 billion by 2017, while Internet of Things connectivity will also peak as IDC predicts the installed base of Internet of Things units to grow from 9.1 billion in 2013 to 28.1 billion in 2020.

Despite developments in the Internet of Things and the whirlwind of new mobile devices, customers are still dealing with spotty Wi-Fi problems. "There is an insatiable demand for bandwidth -- customers today expect the same kind of bandwidth in a public place that they have in their homes," said Callisch.

Partners can harness these exploding numbers of devices and connectivity standards through solutions such as location services and analytics services, as well as cloud-based managed Wi-Fi.

Travis Ehst, president of GO2, a Springfield, Pa.-based solution provider, said GO2 has just started partnering with Ruckus. GO2 focuses on providing VoIP phone systems and carrier services to SMBs.

"We want to make sure our clients get the newest and greatest wireless and IT," he said. "Part of the services that we have faced in particular involve checking in with our wireless customers and seeing if they have a long-term vision for their wireless plan that we can help fulfill."

For Ruckus, partners boost sales by adding the sales muscle to the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company's products. According to Callisch, 70 percent of the company's revenue stems from enterprise wireless LAN, and all of that comes through the channel.

Fernando Sabio, principal partner at McLean, Va.-based partner Concentus, said products and engineering are essential to his company's vertical clientele target of education and the hospitality space.

"We've found that Ruckus will stay ahead of the curve in regard to supporting the density," said Sabio. "Part of our job as a VAR is to educate the end user about that."