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Purple ramps up local reseller base; relaunches partner program

By Heather Wright
Tue 17 Jan 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

‘Intelligent spaces’ vendor Purple is ramping up its push for local resellers saying its offerings provide resellers with a strong differentiator – and customers with an easy return on investment.

Purple – it dropped the ‘Wi-Fi’ from its name as it transitions to being an IoT company – offers real-time analytics and marketing for venues and businesses wanting to engage with visitors and understand the use of physical spaces.

Late last year the company secured $7 million in investment to expand its global operations, with plans to add more than 100 staff. Over the coming months the company expects to bolster its Asia Pacific team to around 20.

Joshua Haines, Purple Wifi Asia Pacific Japan partner sales manager, says since joining the company last July increasing the local reseller channels and re-launching the partner program have been key focuses.

“We want to get people on board to sell Purple as we are a key differentiator which allows businesses to get a return on investment,” Haines says.

“When a reseller can enable a business to get a return on their IT investment it is a huge differentiator, because it is not something that is generally available. A lot of people will spend money on providing free Wi-Fi solutions and get nothing in return.

“With us they’re getting data, they’re getting information.”

The company says it has more than 18 million users globally, with deployments in more than 73 countries and is experiencing ‘unbelieveable growth’.

For resellers, Haines says there’s a good payoff even if the offering itself is ‘fairly cheap’ – a two to 100 access point deployment of a basic offering will come in at AU$270 per access point for a year.

“We enable resellers to have a full solution,” Haines says.

“As a reseller they will generally go and sell hardware and services. So they might go and sell a Cisco unit and get the install on that and the support for it.

“The key advantage and differentiator for resellers is Purple because the technology in the marketplace is moving into this area of big data and IoT and Purple is a IoT company.

“We’re putting all these connectors into the platform that will work with SalesForce, Oracle and a whole bunch of things. That differentiates resellers from their competition.”

Haines says the price point is also critical.

“It can be quite a cheap solution. And that allows the businesses to get the return on investment, which allows resellers to have a key differentiator where they’re making money on software, on the hardware and then they’re adding services on top of that.

“And their services might be a whole bunch of things across the board – anything from the install, architecture design to managing it as a managed services.”

Haines says the company is seeing high interest from end users across a wide variety of sectors, including councils, hotels, airports, retail, smart cities, universities and even cleaning companies.

“Wi-Fi is becoming a commodity. People expect it and expect it to be free,” he notes.

“We provide businesses with a return on that investment. They can utilise the information they gather to turn into real strategies.”

He cites the example of a UK venue which hired a live band every week. Using Purple they discovered, via the social log-on, their customers’ most popular music genre.

“When they played that genre they sold out the arena for the first time in two years. That was directly attributed to Purple,” Haines says. “They would never have understood that unless they paid people to survey.”

The company’s re-launched partner program includes two tiers – the basic authorised which provides 15 points off list prices and access to information, and the certified level which provides additional benefits, including double the discount off the standard GPL, as well as lead generation.

While the company has a direct model globally, it is moving to a more channel-focused model. Westcon-Comstor has a global distribution deal with Purple. In New Zealand the vendor also has two other distributors.

Haines says the channel – and distribution – push is designed to enable the company to leverage the value add from distributors and their reseller bases.

“Within the regions we also want to work a lot closer with our alliance technology partners as well, so we’re starting to do a lot more with the likes of Cisco Meraki and Ruckus, as well as Extreme.”

Says Haines: “We want to form a great reseller network over the next six months where we can start to turn the world – and New Zealand – Purple.”

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