CRN Exclusive: Cloud4Wi Launches Partner Program Targeting 'Untapped' Guest Wi-Fi Market

Advanced guest Wi-Fi specialist Cloud4Wi wants solution providers to dismiss the idea that they can’t be highly profitable selling guest Wi-Fi solutions and services.

The San Francisco-based networking startup is seeking to on-board channel partners with the launch of its new Volare Partner Program, targeting large enterprise opportunities in the retail market.

’Channel partners are used to selling guest Wi-Fi, but they’re not necessarily thinking about making money off of the guest Wi-Fi -- that’s changed,’ said Jeff Abramowitz, president of Cloud4Wi, in an interview with CRN. ’Our open platform allows customers to reap the benefits of analytics, run marketing campaigns, [and] they can use our APIs to integrate into their business infrastructure. … There’s this big opportunity out there that’s untapped.’

[Related: CRN Exclusive: ’Disruptive’ SD-WAN Vendor CloudGenix Launches Partner Program, Recruits Cisco Partners]

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The company’s new Volare program consists of access to qualified leads, proof-of-concept programs, an assigned account manager, discounts, marketing development funds, deal registration, online training, sales tools and a partner portal, to name a few. The two-tier program includes Silver and Gold levels.

With nearly 100 percent of its revenue coming through the channel, Cloud4Wi is seeking solution providers focused on large enterprise opportunities, according to Abramowitz. The target market is large retail chains, restaurant chains and shopping malls.

Scott Pedersen, vice president of architecture and technology at Tolt Solutions, a Taylor, S.C.-based solution provider and Cloud4Wi partner, said the new program includes ’all the tools’ his company needs to take advantage of the rapidly increasing guest Wi-Fi market.

’Over-the-top guest Wi-Fi services is a rapidly growing market that addresses both existing and new Wi-Fi customers,’ said Pedersen.

According to wireless market research firm Maravedis, approximately 100 million access points will offer guest Wi-Fi services by 2020, producing more than $25 billion in annual software licensing revenue. This represents a huge opportunity for channel partners, according to Abramowitz.

At the heart of the new partner program is Cloud4Wi’s flagship services platform, Volare, purpose-built for advanced guest Wi-Fi capabilities. The over-the-top architecture leverages existing Wi-Fi networks to enable brands to standardize each customer's mobile experience across all locations, regardless of the underlying Wi-Fi.

’If the store wants to have a better understanding of who's been in the store and why they’ve been in the store and where a person went, they can now use the Wi-Fi to track those people,’ said Abramowitz.

’We built a very robust and capable infrastructure that is multitenant, multilevel, multitier -- it’s what a channel partner would want to manage a large number of customers simply and consistently from a single pane of glass,’ Abramowitz said. "We built this program for channel partners to make more money here because we know there's so much opportunity coming down the pipeline."

Named to CRN’s The 10 Coolest Networking Startups Of 2016 (So Far), Cloud4Wi received $8 million in private funding earlier this year. The Volare platform connects more than 45 million mobile users across 15,000 locations in more than 80 countries.