Keeping up with customer demand for Wi-Fi connectivity can be exhausting, but Ruckus Networks’ is built on ensuring that customers have a seamless experience. And as two of their expects tell us, being a channel-focused business is key.
Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS company, offers Wi-Fi switching, cloud and software products to mobile carriers, broadband service providers and corporate enterprises.
“We will have a managed service programme and we will help partners develop both the technical and financial architectures,” said Eric Law, VP EMEA Sales.
“We’re very strong in hospitality, where 80% of the top brands use Ruckus and we’re have more opportunity to move into more verticals with our partners.
“I had many EMEA Channel Enterprise lead positions but I also spent many years at a software service start-up where I learned about that model, and by combining those two experiences, I will be running the whole of the EMEA business at Ruckus, such as sales and marketing and the technical channel. I have a channel background and we will continue to be a 100% channel business, but we’re going to help our partners evolve what they need and we’re going to offer them both a channel partner programme and an engagement model that will allow them to offer managed services to be able to better engage with business decision makers to be able to offer a broader portfolio of products to their customer.
“Ruckus has built its model in keeping up with customer demand and that is why we have a cloud offering for customers that want to have a leaner IT organisation. We know that, in order to make that a success, we need to give our customers a seamless experience from when they first engage with a sales representative from a partner all the way to a seamless service experience.
“We’re not just evolving our products to keep up with the technology, but also the model of consumption as well.
“For example, Ruckus has a fantastic presence in large public venues, primarily because of the strength and durability of our outdoor technology.
“Ruckus has a very strong presence in the Middle East, and we’ll be working with our partners in order to seek any opportunity in a large public venue like a football stadium.”
Law has come on board after previously spending more than 17 years with Cisco, where he drove results and scaled the business in enterprise and channel leadership positions.
He later joined Purple to lead its worldwide sales operations, where he grew the business from the ground-up and defined the company’s go-to-market strategy, including proving the impact of a SaaS business model. Law’s remit at Ruckus is to leverage his extensive background to bring strategic growth opportunities to customers, partners and the company and will also extend Ruckus’ presence in vertical markets.
“I was first attracted to Ruckus because of its partner loyalty and passion; it was unlike anything I’d seen before,” said Law.
“The quality of its people is unmatched, both in their perseverance and in their hunger to achieve results. The technology is exceptional and speaks for itself. I see tremendous growth opportunities for us in EMEA.”
At Purple, Law led the worldwide sales organisation and led the business from scratch and built up experience from taking a SaaS model to partners and building a business worldwide.
“Working in software, you work very closely with business decision makers, but at the same time you’re compatible and have an ecosystem partner, like Ruckus,” he said.
“We made some brave decisions there. We jumped straight into the enterprise market and were able to grow very quickly. The reason why we did that was because we established world class partnerships from the start, so it is a wonderful experience. We built a model where we could acquire new customers and would have a very successful post-sales success customer organisation. That type of model is going to be key as they deliver managed services or they resell the Ruckus cloud solution.
“The reason why customers choose the cloud is that they will have less IT overheads and more flexibility in where and for how long they want to consume a product. It’s really important to have an end-to-end model where a customer feels a seamless engagement from buying right to services. The post-sales services become paramount in keeping customer satisfaction high and driving them to renew the solution when the time comes.”
Chris Mendoza, Senior Director of EMEA Marketing, Ruckus Networks, said that, apart from hospitality, education is also very important for the company.
“We’ve been working with local school governors to keep kids up-to-date with the latest technology up to higher education institutions,” he explained.
“Cecil Rhodes, who is from a university in South Africa, is a very happy Ruckus customer. We like to bring in premium for our managed service providers as they deliver their user cases into certain areas of Smart Cities which is basically an outdoor extension of Wi-Fi.
“We’ve seen that in South Africa with our supply to Vodacom and the City of Cape Town. We also have some very interesting use cases in retail and are also addressing manufacturing. In South Africa, we’re seeing a lot of interesting stuff going on with service providers in that they’re supplying subscription services to their clients. It is very much a growing market in many verticals.”
Mendonza believes there is a now a trend in hospitality where they’re moving from general collectively to operationalising the network.
“I think that’s very important because, if you look at just the messaging that you proceed in hospitality publications,” he said.
“Hospitality has realised that they really need to operationalise the business experience with Wi-Fi.
“To our knowledge, we’re the only networking vendor that offers Wi-Fi and switching, but also the additional layers of IoT that allows our customers to aggregate networks to provide a faster speed. You need ultra-reliability and interconnectivity to deliver on very hardened use cases.”
Mendonza added that partners need to speak to customers in a very different way and better understand customer expectation.
“Customers are looking at how to use a network infrastructure and work with IT operations and really try innovation, while at the same time addressing cost, security and a speed to market so they can remain competitive,” he said.