Exclusive: Cradlepoint's New Hires Are Driving IoT, 5G Opportunities Via The Channel

‘We think technologies like 5G will uncover unbelievable opportunities for our partners to bring more value to their customers,’ Eric Purcell, Cradlepoint's new channel leader, tells CRN.


Fresh off of its annual Channel Summit, Cradlepoint is accelerating its partner-first focus by bringing on two new sales and channel veterans to push 5G and IoT opportunities through solution providers.

Cradlepoint, a company focused on cloud-delivered LTE network products, has hired Mark Pugerude as its new chief sales officer and Eric Purcell as company's senior vice president of global partner sales and alliances, an expanded channel chief position.

The Boise, Idaho-based provider has been busy laying out a path for solution providers to grab hold of next-generation wireless opportunities, Purcell told CRN.

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"5G is going to be a step change that will drive hyper-connectivity, so that will absolutely drive the conversation for partners to really become trusted advisors," he said. "We are really working with our partners to bring that transformation to the customers."

[Related: Cradlepoint Pivots To Subscription-Based, Software-First Sales Model, Says Partners Will Now Have Closer Ties To The Customer Journey]

Cradlepoint has many partners that are building innovative solutions on top of Cradlepoint's products for customers that are shifting from relying on wireless as a failover connection to the primary network connection for their business. Partners are starting to take advantage of new wireless opportunities that didn't exist before, like pop-up stores in a retail setting that need flexible connectivity or emerging IoT use cases.

"Anything that can be wireless will be wireless," Purcell said. "Technologies like gigabit LTE are impacting customers' WANs and they are interested in what they can do with emerging technologies like 5G, so it's really exciting to partners."

In keeping with its so-called "pathway to 5G" strategy, Cradlepoint on Thursday introduced a series of new Private LTE solutions based on its NetCloud service and recently introduced Gigabit LTE edge routers, which support Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) shared spectrum at 3.5 GHz. Cradlepoint said these services are a great fit for areas in which public LTE networks aren't providing enough coverage or are not available, such as warehouses or remote campuses.

Purcell has more than two decades of technical sales and partner management experience. He came to Cradlepoint from content management provider Box, where he led the global service provider channel sales team for more than five years. Purcell also has held several senior channel roles during his 13-year career at Cisco. He also worked for AT&T in partner sales.

Cradlepoint's commitment to partners, couple with its leadership in wireless and 5G attracted Purcell to the company, he said.

"Cradlepoint is a channel-first company so from the CEO on down, they are really committed to the channel model. That was key for me," he said. "Providing solutions that transforms people's lives, like the solutions being delivered to first responders was also something that was really important to me."

A 25-year IT veteran, Pugerude previously served as the chief sales officer for application intelligence provider InfoVista. Pugerude also served as president of global sales for GENBAND, now Ribbon Communications, for nearly nine years and senior vice president of marketing and product development at Broadwing Communications, a provider of telecommunications services acquired by Level 3 Communications, now a part of CenturyLink.

Purcell will report to Pugerude. Together, the two executives will align the company's global strategy with the partners' needs. "It's about the evolution of the program and what we need to ensure our partners will continue to be successful going forward," Purcell said.

To that end, Cradlepoint will continue to invest in resources for its partners to get up to speed with the latest technology. Solution providers today can take advantage of CradlePoint University, which allows partners to not only achieve certifications, but also become confident in having conversations around emerging technology with their customers, Purcell said. The company is also adding new channel marketing resources and more solution architects that can work with partners.

"The channel is critical to our success, not only here in the Americas, but globally," he said. "We think technologies like 5G will uncover unbelievable opportunities for our partners to bring more value to their customers."