Interview: Gavin Wilson, Cradlepoint Asia-Pacific
This year’s Comms Connect Melbourne (22–23 November) will feature more than 70 exhibitors, covering a wide variety of products and services of keen interest to everyone in the business- and mission-critical communications industry.
One of those exhibitors will be networking specialist Cradlepoint, which will be demonstrating its NetCloud edge-to-cloud solution. To find out more about the company and NetCloud, we spoke with Gavin Wilson, Managing Director of Cradlepoint Asia Pacific.
Prior to his role with Cradlepoint, Wilson held senior positions at SingTel, British Telecom and Hewlett Packard. He has worked with, and provided advice to, most of Australia’s largest organisations. He is passionate about enterprise networking and the benefits to business that can be gained from understanding and deploying technology.
Critical Comms: In a nutshell, what is NetCloud?
Gavin Wilson: NetCloud consists of integrated components to enable seamless connectivity, security, management and extensibility of the network. The components include: NetCloud Manager (a platform for configuring, monitoring and manage connected resources); the NetCloud OS (which operates on hardened routers, enabling primary/failover routing and WAN traffic control as well as edge services such as firewall, IDS/IPS, and security); NetCloud Perimeter (a software-defined, identity-based security perimeter to connect M2M and IoT devices to your network); plus built-for-purpose routers and SDKs and APIs for clients to develop their own technologies, such as in-vehicle telemetry.
CC: Which traditional solution(s) does it replace?
GW: The platform reduces manual tasks and the need to send IT people into the field to configure, deploy and troubleshoot network infrastructure at the edge. The platform allows for advanced WAN/LAN analytics, firmware upgrades, policy management and network orchestration. Utilising software-defined WAN and software-defined perimeter technologies, it can offer dynamic traffic steering to ensure cost-effective uptime and reduce the need for hardware and expensive head-ends at remote locations, as well as virtual cloud networks and virtual VPNs that can be spun up or down as needed.
CC: What advantages does it confer?
GW: The NetCloud platform makes it easy to transform the network’s edge to make it more flexible and get maximum value with WAN Affinity, business policies, and dynamic traffic steering. Another advantage is network orchestration, increased security and reduced costs and complexity of traditional network solutions.
CC: Are there any sectors that you think are primed for disruption or enhancement with the solutions you provide?
GW: Emergency services and the public sector are primed for disruption/enhancement here in Australia. Cradlepoint solutions are already making a huge impact in other regions and Australia is currently behind the fold in technologies that will enhance public safety, streamline government operations and create better communities. All of the top 25 most populated cities in the United States use Cradlepoint for public safety and smart city applications. The EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) is following suit with connected police fleets (eg, in Hertfordshire) and connected public transport (eg, Barcelona).
CC: With smart cities, smart transport, M2M and the IoT about to explode, how hard will it be for vendors, integrators and end users to keep up?
GW: There will soon come a time when everything is connected. At the beginning of 2017, Gartner said 8.4 billion connected ‘things’ will be in use this year. With more people, places and things needing to connect to organisations’ networks, forward-thinking executives need to source solutions that are secure and increase network availability — all while reducing costs and complexity. This is an area where Cradlepoint can bring added value as a trusted vendor.
CC: Using your crystal ball, which developments should the industry watch for in 2018?
GW: There is a digital transformation taking hold in enterprise networking. I believe this transformation in Australia will really start to take hold in 2018. The disruption will be driven by the need for constant connectivity, the pervasiveness of IoT applications and network mobility. 4G LTE solutions will be a major driver in creating a fluid, or elastic, network edge. Its ability to augment, complement and extend networks can be utilised not only by the government for solutions like augmenting the nbn, but for consumers and businesses as well.
CC: What can visitors expect to see, and learn from, on your stand at Comms Connect?
GW: The Cradlepoint team is excited to be exhibiting at Comms Connect this year. We will have NetCloud demonstrations and our hardware on-site. Visitors will be able to see the platform interface and learn about solutions that can enable IT and create efficiencies. Our team will be able to advise visitors on the correct solution to solve their problems and help determine what their infrastructure needs are.
The Comms Connect Melbourne conference and exhibition is on from 22–23 November 2017 (with industry workshops on the day prior, the 21st). Full details of speakers and exhibitors, plus registration details (including a FREE expo pass), can be found on the Comms Connect website.
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