Technology Reseller v65 21 Partnerships such a way that they can add their own professional services, their managed and resale services for their enterprise and public sector customers, which is highly profitable for our partners and creates that stickiness for the customer.” The other strength is Cradlepoint’s leadership position in wireless solutions and its broad spread of expertise as the Wireless Solutions Enterprise unit of Ericsson. “With Ericsson’s leadership in 5G infrastructure and Cradlepoint’s growing relevance in 5G Enterprise networking, we are an attractive offer for partners like Softcat. Together, we have significant factors that differentiate us as customer requirements lean towards one cellular networking solution, one preferred secure access edge stack and 5G solutions from edge to core. The opportunities are endless. Now that we’re starting to see 5G opportunities in the market, we want to get our partners enabled and ready. We’re at the bottom of that curve right now I would say.” Rowley adds that, thanks to its acquisition by Ericsson, Cradlepoint is in the rare position of being able to have conversations around both areas of 5G – private 5G, which sits more in the industrial space, and public 5G, which is more for the enterprise and mid-market space. “Cradlepoint is probably the only vendor in the market now that has a story on both sides of that fence. And that story is being knit together ever more tightly as Cradlepoint starts to look at how to bring private 5G down from industrial organisations to enterprises and the use cases that are associated with that. “Other players in the market provide just connectivity, but with Cradlepoint we have connectivity, and built into that we have SD WAN and security functionality as well. So it starts to become more of a solution in a box. It’s not a question of ‘I’m going to send you to the internet’, but ‘I’m going to send you to the internet in a secure manner with optimised connectivity. And by the way, if you want to look at public 5G today, we can do that. If you want to start exploring some of the more complex big IoT deployments using private 5G, we can do that with the same technology’.” He adds that having one vendor that can do so much, especially around 5G, is reassuring for customers and a great benefit for Softcat in customer conversations around the use of connectivity to drive innovation within their organisations. Alliance partners In this context, Ralston-Good highlights Cradlepoint’s technology alliance partners that enable MSPs and VARs to create complete solutions and give them more to sell. “Together with our partners, we’re actively portfolio-selling and embracing a broader solution mix across the entire secure cellular wireless portfolio. I think that’s a big differentiator for us and for partners,” she says. Rowley adds: “That’s a key thing for me. With IoT or any other use case connectivity is a starting point that unlocks the ability to talk about solutions. 5G alone isn’t a solution. It’s part of a solution that links to other things and expands into other areas and other specialisms within Softcat. Our job is to orchestrate that and pull it all together to become a total solution. That is the value that Softcat brings to this conversation at the moment.” upload images from their body cameras to the cloud, freeing up storage space on the devices and enabling them to carry on doing their jobs without having to return to base. “The second point is that we’re on the cusp of IoT starting to be adopted by enterprises and by big industrial organisations that are trying to digitise what in some cases are very analogue estates. Take the example of a water treatment company that has small meters in the middle of nowhere monitoring water quality going through its pipes. Periodically, they send a guy out in a van to take a reading which, believe it or not, they write down on a piece of paper before going back to the office, typing it into a computer and uploading it to the central database. Things like 5G enable us, without changing any pipework, to hook up a little camera to look at the meter, do optical character recognition and transmit that data in real time back to a centralised system. It starts to allow digitalisation at scale.” Rowley adds that there are a huge number of IoT use cases across the board, in retail, defence, construction, healthcare, shipping, utilities, blue light and many other verticals, and the one thing they have in common is the need for connectivity, which is just what 5G provides. “That’s what’s been stopping this market from really taking off, and it’s why there are some crazy but believable forecasts starting to come out,” he explains. “To give you some figures, there’s about 15.2 billion wireless devices (laptops and phones and the like) connected globally. It’s expected that by the time we get to 2030, on top of those 15.2 billion devices there will be an additional 42 billion IoT devices and that they will produce about 50% of all data globally. That’s transformational.” Collaboration, not competition In this context, Ralston-Good highlights two key strengths of Cradlepoint’s offering for channel partners, starting with its completely indirect business model. “That’s something that partners like Softcat have said is a huge value to their business. Because we don’t compete, but collaborate, we enable our enterprise and carrier partners to deliver our portfolio in Thomas Rowley