Ruckus is a company selling wired and wireless networking equipment and software, headquartered in California. The company offers Wi-Fi, switching, cloud and software products to mobile carriers, broadband service providers, and corporate enterprises. Eric Law, newly appointed Vice-President of EMEA Operations at Ruckus, was in Dubai, and he spoke to Anita Joseph about channel partnership, the company’s strategy and growth plans for their partners, and what they look for in their partners. Excerpts:
What’s your take on the Middle East, as a market for technology offerings?
The Middle East is a very promising and competitive market, with its focus on technology, innovation and experimentation. Dubai, in particular, is a very vibrant destination and it even has the tallest 5-star hotel in the world, the Marriott Marquee. The city is on top of all technological trends and has an extremely supportive government and a very professional business atmosphere.
What, in your opinion, forms a successful partnership?
A good partnership starts with a good team-one that adds stability and value to the product offering. Then again, a diverse partner base is also important, as is a strong one. Partners should not only sell products, but they should also innovate and focus on growth and development.
What is your partner strategy for the Middle East, in particular?
We believe that partners need to continuously evolve, particularly in the context of emerging technologies such as cloud, IoT and AI. For this our strategy at this point is to help our partners evolve to the cloud and engage with customers in many different ways. To this end, we provide our partners the opportunity to either host or white label themselves. This, we believe, would be ideal for those that have lean IT/expansion plans or even dynamic growth plans. Some of our partners have captured our spirit completely and are growing fast, while others are left behind. We want to make sure everyone is on the same page, equipped with the right tools to make this happen.
What does the Channel Enablement Program do?
Ruckus designs, develops, and delivers product, technology, and job-related training offerings and field enablement services to our partners, customers and employees globally. As a Ruckus Wireless Big Dog, Top Dog and Alpha Dog Partner you drive our Enterprise business through serving your customers with our best-in-class Wi-Fi solutions. Partners must complete certain training and pass certification exams to qualify for Ruckus Wireless partner benefits. Beyond this, we support our partners through a wide variety of product, technology and sales training.
What are some of the challenges to a good partnership?
I wouldn’t call them challenges, I’d say it is very important to ensure three key factors in channel partnership:Profitability, Differentiation and Trust. Then again, there should be a mutual value exchange and partners should be able to innovate with their own solutions. Also, last mile connectivity is important for any technology to work, and partners have to be aware of this as well. To make sure these aspects are in place, is a huge task.
How do you select your partners? Is there some kind of a vetting process?
I was first attracted to Ruckus because of its partner loyalty and passion. The quality of its people is unbelievable, perticularly in their hunger to achieve results. The technology is exceptional and speaks for itself. I see tremendous growth opportunities for us in EMEA. However, our strategy is not to keep adding partners, or to increase numbers randomly. We are focused on quality and want the very best with us. They should understand technology and solutions, and be keen to learn and imbibe. Our best partners are focused on verticals and cross-selling, as well as product portfolio. So we prefer to be selective and build our partnership around the latest trends.