Courting the channel

Channel Middle East talks to Graham Owen, regional sales director MEA at Cambium Networks, to find out how the wireless broadband solutions vendor is developing its region channel business, following the spinoff from parent company Motorola.

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Courting the channel
By  Manda Banda Published  July 19, 2012

Channel Middle East talks to Graham Owen, regional sales director MEA at Cambium Networks, to find out how the wireless broadband solutions vendor is developing its region channel business, following the spinoff from parent company Motorola.

Channel: What is Cambium Networks’ channel strategy for the Middle East region?

Graham Owen: Cambium Networks is an indirect business and as such we have multiple distributors supporting the reseller community across the Middle East region.

Channel: What was the main reason why Cambium Networks split from parent company Motorola?

GO: Vector capital specialises in purchasing undervalued assets from major corporations and they saw the point-to-multi-point (PMP) and the point-to-point (PTP) portfolio as a huge potential for growth and as such purchased the products from Motorola. As Cambium we are now also able to focus more resources and R&D funding into areas where we see the potential from growth given our product sets.

Channel: Does this split put Cambium Networks on a stronger footing in the Middle East?

GO: We believe it does as we are now able to focus resources into areas where we see the potential for growth. For example, we have released two products this year where in the past it could have taken more than a year to do this. By doing this, we are able to get to market quicker and with our loyal channel and customer base, we are already starting to see opportunities open up and we will drive the business forward.

Channel: What does this split entail for your Middle East channel partners (distributors & resellers)?

GO: Nothing, all of the old partners have the opportunity to move across to Cambium Networks and have done so already. All new distributor contracts have been sent out and all resellers are now able to sign up to the ConnectedPartner Program.

Channel: Despite having Middle East presence for more than ten years, the Cambium Networks brand is not well entrenched in the Middle East channel. Why is that so?

GO: Cambium Networks as a business was only launched on 1st November 2011 and as such the brand name needs to be developed and we are focusing on this. However, the products that Cambium own such as Canopy PMP and Orthogon Systems PTP have been in the market for some time now and we have a very loyal customer base and channel ecosystem who understand the value of the products we have to offer.

Channel: What are you doing to raise your channel profile and general brand awareness in the Middle East market?

GO: We are conducting reseller events and channel marketing campaigns across different countries. We are also running new training courses and this year, we will be attending Africa Comms and GITEX later in the year.

Channel: How many distribution partners do you have in the Middle East?

GO: When you say distributors, I would assume you are referring to true two-tier distributors and in this case we have we have three distributors in the Middle East. Two of our distributors are based in the UAE and one operates out of the Levant region.

Channel: The Middle East IT market is witnessing unprecedented growth in the wireless broadband space. How is Cambium Networks driving partner growth in this regard?

GO: As Cambium has one of the largest most comprehensive portfolios in the market place, we are able to attract many different types of partners across the region.
For example, we have our Canopy 100 FSK product which has huge presence in Africa and more ISP focused partners are attracted to the product due to its interference capabilities and cost effectiveness for this type of customer. Then there is the licensed PTP 800 and 810 products which attract partners who are looking for Licensed IP microwave products for applications such as security or operator focused partners.
Then there are partners who only want to use unlicensed 2.4 and 5.8 Ghz products so we attract these types of channel partners. All in all, we have the largest and most comprehensive portfolio on offer in the market today to cater for multiple partners and end-user customers.

Channel: What channel investments is Cambium making towards developing partners and the market in the Middle East region?

GO: We have marketing dollars available to the channel community to assist them to grow their businesses, not only with marketing development funds (MDF) but also co-op funding as well. We have a dedicated head count to manage all marketing activities and we have developed the ConnectedPartner Program for the reseller community. In addition to this, as I have said before we are going to be attending some of the region’s top trade shows this year.

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