WI-FI Hotspots To Generate Immense Opportunities For System Integrators

IP-COM Networks
Pinaki Chatterjee
Director, Sales, India and SAARC, IP-COM Networks, IP-COM Networks
With the hunger for bandwidth touching dizzy heights in the country with each passing day, WI-FI hotspots will emerge as a significant alternative for de-congesting the networks of service providers. In an exclusive interaction with Channel Times, Pinaki Chatterjee, Director for Sales, India and SAARC, IP-COM Networks elaborates as how WI-FI networking equipments will be an ideal opportunity for System Integrators.

Here are some excerpts from the Interaction-:

Please elaborate a bit about IP-COM’s journey as an OEM for network equipments

IP-COM Networks is a 15 year old OEM company.We work closely with Broadcom and ship around 3.5 million networking equipment units across the globe. We have decided to focus only on Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) with a USP of enabling the list mile connectivity. Since we are the highest procuring company of Broadcom chips, this keeps our cost of products significantly low.

What is your Go To Market Strategy?

We are aware of what the System Integrators are facing right now.The IT industry in the present era has aligned more towards retailing the product. Another major challenge for SIs is to tackle the dominance of e-commerce portals in the SMB space, where in one can buy IT products at a lesser price tag, dwindling their margins considerably. We have appointed Redington as our distributor which operates strictly as per the policies of the vendor. We will also refrain from retailing our products on online market space to ensure healthy margins to our partners, with a focus on creating local stocking points via the appointment of Value Added Distributors.

What are your channel expansion plans?

We started working on the appointment of sub distributors in October 2015, after the appointment of Redington. At present we have around 14 Value Added Distributors across the country covering almost all of Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities in the country. We are also meeting the local SIs in different cities and plan to do road shows for System Integrators in top 8 cities of the country. We will also do a demo drive for SIs where in we will fetch them with demo equipments at special discounts and plan to rope in 1000 SIs by the end of 2016.

What are the latest trends shaping up in the Indian network hardware space?

WI-FI is poised to become the need of the hour in the country which at present is more readily available in other countries as compared to India, owing to high equipment costs in the country. Another important trend which is emerging in the Indian ICT space is ensuring seamless connectivity with the implementation of hot spots. Telecom operators are also aggressively focusing on 3G offloads via the implementation of WI-FI hotspots, creating a huge opportunity for System Integrators. IoT and home automation market is also picking up in the country.

Who are your major competitors?

Being the network equipment vendor exclusively for SMBs, technically we don’t see any head to head competition in this specific vertical. While networking giants like Cisco, Ruckus Wireless etc. serve the top notch category of the customers, there is no significant competition in the SMB space.

What are the major challenges prevailing in the enterprise network equipment market?

Stringent and impractical regulations come as a major challenge upfront for the Indian ICT sector. The norm set by the government to keep an 18 months log of an individual’s browsing activities over a public WI-FI is also a major obstacle in the rapid deployment of WI-FI frameworks. High bandwidth costs come as another challenge for the sector.

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