CRN Exclusive: Aerohive Partners With Value-Added Distributor WAV As Restructuring Efforts Get Under Way

Aerohive Networks is partnering with value-add distributor WAV as the networking vendor restructures its go-to-market strategy with a new focus on the hospitality market.

"What we're in the middle of is Aerohive really trying to restructure our go-to-market," said Ron Gill, vice president of America's sales for Aerohive. "We've recently engaged with two-tier distributors in North America – Synnex, and now we're going further down the road by adding WAV, which is really a wireless specialist."

WAV will give partners, especially managed service providers, a boost through various forms of incentives and technical services theyl can leverage to attack a greater total addressable market, according to Gill.

[Related: Juniper Channel Leader On Ramping Up Security Incentives, Winning Over Brocade Partners, New Cloud Specialization]

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Gill said Aerohive is investing and innovating in the hospitality market, which is quickly becoming a new key vertical for the Milpitas, Calif.-based vendor.

"We're focused on going into new verticals to grow our base because Aerohive has historically been known as an education reseller – that's been our focus and our No. 1 vertical as it related to K-12 and then to higher education. We know we need to provide a broader mix in our go-to-market," said Gill. "Hospitality is a vertical we have dabbled in over the years, but it's not a vertical we've focused on until now."

Zach Hubeck, vice president of sales and marketing for WAV, said the distributor offers partners a plethora of resources and services around installation, technical expertise, site surveys and post-sales troubleshooting.

"In a pre-sales environment, we help our managed service providers with network design and Wi-Fi planning," said Hubeck. "We can take a blueprint of a large facility across any vertical and help partners with access point placement and things along those lines. We also assist with staging, kiting and bundling."

Aurora, Ill.-based WAV is a full-service distributor of networking, wireless LAN, LTE and licensed and unlicensed broadband technology. The partnership will extend Aerohive's distribution channel to effectively support integrators and MSPs and, by extension, customers in hospitality, said Gill.

"We'll preconfigure everything from the switches to the Wi-Fi, and stage everything so that partners only need to spend half the time they normally would on any given installation," said Hubeck. "The term overly used today is a 'value-add distributor.' We really believe that's in our core and DNA."

Joe Rittenhouse, president of business development and managing partner for Converged Technology Professionals, a Crystal Lake, Ill.-based solution provider and Aerohive partner, was glad to hear about the WAV partnership and Aerohive's hospitality push.

"Anytime a vendor like Aerohive pivots the focus to a new vertical, it's great news for a partner like us," said Rittenhouse. "I'm sure we can take advantage of [the WAV] partnership and their channel services too. … It's good to see that Aerohive is continuiously evolving its strategy."

The partnership comes as Aerohive's channel base is expanding at a rapid pace. Hundreds of solution providers have flocked to Aerohive after the company in January launched Aerohive Connect, a cloud-managed wired and wireless enterprise connectivity offering aimed at small and midsize enterprises.

Gill said Aerohive Connect is winning over new partners as customers are seeking basic connectivity and cloud management tools. Customers also have the option to upgrade to Aerohive Connect to Aerohive Select, which is the same platform but includes additional capabilities -- such as advanced security and troubleshooting tools, increased network visibility and more enterprise support options.

"So on the same exact management platform in the cloud, partners can step [customers] up into a full-service offering called Select. That's a difference-maker that nobody is doing in the marketplace today," said Gill. "It gives partners a great opportunity to sell off of one platform."