Talking Heads: Enterprises get ready for the Internet of Things (IoT) with Wyless Connect primary back-up

Readers will be familiar with Wyless but may not know its subsidiary Wyless Connect. M2M Now’s editor, Jeremy Cowan asked Bennett Alpert about its work in digital signage, telemedicine and the Internet of Things.

M2M Now: Bennett, can you tell us about this business division of Wyless that you run, called Wyless Connect?

Bennett Alpert: Wyless Connect is a fast growing, creative infrastructure play that builds upon the hardware, connectivity, and management platform resources that Wyless has developed over the past 10 years.

With the rapid proliferation of higher-bandwidth consuming applications and the deployment of 4G/LTE starting to happen worldwide, the wireless landscape is quickly evolving. Even the name of the industry has changed to adapt to the ever-expanding market – from M2M to the ‘Internet of Things’.

No longer is the space defined by just kilobytes of data and small ARPUs, there is a rapidly growing demand for back-up for internet continuity, primary and load balanced wireless-based networks, and even voice over LTE. Additionally, applications such as digital signage, telemedicine and WiFi networks require a higher level of reliability and throughput than ever before.

Cellular connectivity is playing an ever larger and more important role in enterprise connectivity, and it is enabling some impressive new applications, but ones that demand secure private networks that are difficult for the mobile operators to easily and costeffectively
deploy.

Wyless Connect leverages Wyless’s 15 carrier partnerships, allowing us to service our clients and partners in many parts of the world, with a host of fully managed applications and hardware, ensuring maximum coverage wherever applications are deployed.

A key differantiator is that Wyless Connect reduces the time, cost, and complexity of deploying secure, private, broadband cellular networks of any size. As an end-to-end solution, Wyless Connect can also manage and deploy hardware, installation and support services. The result is a ‘one stop shop’ providing a quicker time-to-market and a speedier RoI.

Cellular service, once touted as just for mobility or as a back-up or remote monitoring technology will be used as primary connectivity
“Cellular service, once touted as just for mobility or as a back-up or remote
monitoring technology will be used as primary connectivity.”
Bennett Alpert, Wyless Connect

M2M Now: Where did the idea of Wyless Connect come from?

BA: I met Dan McDuffie, the CEO of Wyless, a few years ago when I was trying to put together an enterprise class business continuity and wireless kiosk product with a reseller of Verizon.

The problem I encountered as a smaller reseller was putting the right pieces together, at the right price points, while offering world class service and support that would qualify as a truly ‘high end’ solution. I learned, partly through trial and error, and partly through collaboration with Wyless, that the market was craving a comprehensive solution to secure enterprise connectivity. If we built and
supported it properly, we knew the market was ready to explode – I’m sure we’ve all seen the statistics on expected M2M/IoT growth!

However, just finding the right equipment and the right carrier was not enough. The solutions needed to be supported by a great team. That is Wyless and that great team allowed us to get our foot in the door and begin building the powerhouse that is Wyless today.

M2M Now: What else was needed to make Wyless Connect a success?

BA: A comprehensive approach. One that matches the client requirements, not just what is available from most providers. The Wyless philosophy as a whole is to take a project-oriented approach to our customer solutions, not force them down a specific path, and that’s never more prevalent than in the enterprise verticals as there are so many choices. So we offer choice: Choice of equipment, service
provider, rate plan, and business model. With that and the connectivity and private network solutions, you’re well on your way.

With all that in place the only thing we needed was someone to sell it, and it made sense that what we really needed were the cellular carriers themselves as the channel. That’s what led us to working with T-Mobile and Verizon in the USA, which in both cases drive our products down through their B2B sales channels.

With these mobile operator partnerships, not just for coverage but as a co-sale partner, along with our partnerships with Cisco, Cradlepoint, Digi, Encore Networks and Meraki, we truly have the best end-to-end solutions with best-in-class partners.

M2M Now: Is that a comprehensive service?

BA: It is with the multi-carrier private network and all that quality gear, but that’s not everything …

We still needed to have the processes in place to support, configure, ship, test and install devices quickly and efficiently. We’ve done this by developing a national installation team, by partnering with world class installers, hiring more internal project managers, as well as adding more Tier Two and Tier Three support engineers.

This means, that we now have a full end-to-end solution from equipment and application selection to IT infrastructure planning, right down to installation and maintenance.

M2M Now: So, what’s next?

BA: Well, we feel the sky’s really the limit with Wyless Connect. The final step was making it simple to distribute and buy the products,
especially when launching a new business line during these difficult economic times, a time when some equipment manufacturers were barely hanging on and the global business market was literally shrinking.

The final piece of the pie was simply making it affordable. Quality, full service and low prices are literally a game changer. So, it was a logical next step to offer the whole package as a service. I guess you can say EaaS or equipment-as-a-service, not just SaaS or software as a service.

Or more simply stated, it’s a bundle. One low monthly rate for equipment and wireless services customised to a customer’s requirement with managed services, professional services, installation and our Porthos platform to manage all the connectivity and billing. Wyless removes the CapEx from the equation and makes our products and services easy to procure.

M2M Now: So, it’s a ‘one-stop-shop’?

BA: Yes, Jeremy, with a disruptive low monthly investment. And because of this strategy, our distribution and partner collaboration is rapidly expanding from just providing business continuity to CLECs and carrier partners to our recently announced global partnership with Cisco, and distribution agreements with companies like Avnet Memec, Arrow Electronics, TD Mobility and many more to come. This, coupled with our highly valued carrier partners, offers an unprecedented speed to market that is needed for innovative solutions, private wireless data networks and comprehensive service. It is truly unmatched.

M2M Now: Though it’s not traditional M2M, I can see how the cellular M2M industry is converging with mobile broadband to the enterprise as there are a lot of similar requirements. Where do you see this all going, Bennett?

BA: Well, we feel with our infrastructure and terrific team, there is literally an endless stream of product bundles in a variety of verticle markets that we can help our partners bring to market. To name just one, the Wyless ‘office in a box’.

With the quality and speed of LTE and the VoLTE voice over IP standards, we feel that the next few years will bring a major shift. Cellular service, once touted as just for mobility or as a back-up or remote monitoring technology will fully rise to the forefront and be used as primary connectivity.

This will begin in the early days in the SMB market. Why not have a PoS system, an IP security camera, your guest WiFi and your IP phones all with redundant carriers, fully supported, all on one bill for a price as low as $99 a month. That is a game changer! That’s Wyless Connect!

M2M Now Jargon Buster
4G/LTE = Long-Term Evolution to 4th Generation networks
ARPU = Average Revenue Per User
B2B = Business-to-Business
CapEx = Capital Expenditure
CLEC = Competitive Local Exchange Carrier
EaaS = Equipment as a Service
IoT = Internet of Things
IP = Internet Protocol
MPLS = Multi-Protocol Label Switching
PoS = Point of Sale
RoI = Return on Investment
SaaS = Software-as-a-Service
SLA = Service Level Agreement
SMB = Small and Mediumsized Businesses
VoLTE = Voice over LTE

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