VAD Wick Hill is to distribute Xirrus high performance wireless networks in the UK, the two companies announced today (14 September 2012). California-based Xirrus manufactures array-based solutions which provide wireless networks with wired-like reliability, a high level of security and the opportunity to expand wireless use without major infrastructure change.
Sean Larner, VP of International Sales at Xirrus, explained the reason behind the move to Wireless: ‘The growth we are experiencing as a business in the UK means we need a solid distribution partner to help us manage that. There are many distributors out there, but good ones are few and far between and Wick Hill is a mature channel with a lot of wireless experience.’
Speaking to Wireless, Ian Kilpatrick, chairman Wick Hill Group, said: ‘We have been in wireless for a long time. We deliberately have a very small portfolio of solutions, as we look for ones that will last customers for around five years. But we haven’t taken on a Wi-Fi partner until now as we had not seen the right solution for our customers. So we had a gap in our portfolio and now we are delighted to partner with Xirrus as its sits in an area where our partners are delivering solutions.’
Wick Hill specialises in IP infrastructure solutions and convergence, providing a portfolio that covers security, performance, access, networking, unified communications, cloud security and hosted solutions. Xirrus now brings a wireless solution, designed to perform as well and as reliably as wired options, to the distributor’s offering.
Kilpatrick explained: ‘The fast growth of BYOD is just one of the indicators that the world is moving increasingly to wireless. It’s more cost-effective, more convenient, less disruptive and encourages productivity. Currently, however, most wireless installations are patchy and unreliable. With wireless applications requiring ever-increasing capacity and full coverage, wireless-aware organisations are looking to implement solutions that meet their immediate and long term needs.'
According to the company, the Xirrus solution provides an all-pervasive, reliable wireless coverage which allows for a very high number of users. It is extremely flexible and scalable, so, unlike some other wireless offerings, which have to be ripped out and replaced after a relatively short period of time, Xirrus solutions can be installed with the knowledge that they can be easily and cost-effectively upgraded to cope with an increasing number of users and an increasing number of applications.
This is because the Xirrus series of wireless arrays ranging from the XR-1000 up to the XR-6000 can provide anything from 2 to 16 radios. If the customer needs to add more capacity to handle growing numbers of users, more radios can be added without having to redesign the network, install new cabling, switching and other infrastructure.
Kilpatrick and Larner acknowledge that many people have a relatively poor perception of Wi-Fi still, so education is a very important part of the new partnership's task.
‘We provide a huge amount of educative information for the end user community ourselves and also through our channel partners,’ said Kilpatrick. ‘We will work very hard to enable people to have the confidence to invest in Xirrus Wi-Fi solutions. We will show them that they can be confident of getting a mission critical, high density solution that will last them several years. As a market making distributor we want to help move the market to create growth by helping customers make educated decisions, so they are confident about investing.’
Wick Hill also has a strong technical team to support its resellers on their first implementations. Larner said they will be trained so they can provide the same quality as Xirrus engineers. Kilpatrick added: ‘We want them to get into the heart of a trusted advisor role, so they understand the strategic nature of the customer’s business and can advise them properly and then secure upgrade opportunities and contract renewals.’
Larner said that Xirrus is focusing on four key sectors where it knows its technology excels: junior and high schools; colleges and universities; healthcare; and large public venues such as stadiums. ‘Then there are opportunistic markets that may come up in retail, logistics and enterprises, such as large banks. Government is another sector and Wick Hill will help us in that space where the security aspects are a big issue.’
Kilpatrick observed that the time is right to push robust wireless solutions as the market is beginning to move away from wired solutions. ‘We see a distinct shift occurring from wired to wireless. Yes, there will continue to be a co-mingling of wired and wireless – and we provide solutions in both - but customers will start to run out of capacity on existing solutions and that is when they will make a decision to either upgrade their wireless network or move from a wired to a wireless solution.’
Larner added: ‘I can’t see the move to wireless slowing down. It is becoming more and more pervasive and 4G will only make it more necessary. The key message from Xirrus is the uniqueness of our ability not to have to rip and replace our wireless solution – that gives our resellers a key advantage in the market.’
Benefits of Xirrus solutions
• Designed for pervasive enterprise coverage, not just hotspots
• Designed for density of BYOD, not just 10 people in a conference room
• Designed for multi-media and critical applications, not just email and web browsing
• Designed to be adaptive and upgraded as requirements grow, not replaced as technology changes
• Designed to lower total cost of ownership by requiring less equipment and infrastructure, not more.