September 18, 2020
Ericsson says buying Cradlepoint for $1.1 billion expands opportunities in 5G technology in the enterprise for both companies.
Ericsson goal is to accelerate 5G in the enterprise, and it sees Cradlepoint as its ticket. Cradlepoint’s portfolio of wireless edge WAN 4G and 5G enterprise solutions combined with Ericsson’s 5G enterprise portfolio – which includes dedicated networks and an IoT platform – is a fit for Ericsson’s strategy.
“Portfolio-near acquisitions are an integral part of our earlier communicated strategy. The acquisition of Cradlepoint complements our existing offerings and is key to our strategy of helping customers grow the value of their 5G network investments,” said Börje Ekholm, president and CEO of Ericsson. “Ericsson is uniquely positioned to build on Cradlepoint’s leadership position in wireless edge and the wireless WAN market. Combining the scale of our market access and established relationships with the world’s biggest mobile operators, we are making a strong investment to support our customers to grow in this exciting market. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all Cradlepoint employees.”
Change for Partners
In June, Cradlepoint announced a revamped partner program. The company rolled out a new Technology Alliance Program and introduced its 5G for enterprise branch specialization. Earlier this year, the vendor introduced the 5G wireless edge solution portfolio for businesses.
Almost all of Cradlepoint business goes through partners. Eric Purcell is senior vice president of global partner sales and technology alliances at Cradlepoint.
Cradlepoint’s Eric Purcell
“The special sauce for Cradlepoint is our knowledge for wireless – 4G, LTE and 5G. That’s what differentiates our solutions,” he told us in June.
Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
He also noted Cradlepoint’s strong relationships and alignments with global carriers. That includes Ericsson, which has had a long-term relationship with the company. Furthermore, Purcell was clear about Cradlepoint’s goals for global expansion.
We asked Cradlepoint what’s next for its partners.
“It’s a boon for our channel partners. Not only will they benefit from the end-to-end 5G solutions that Cradlepoint and Ericsson deliver, but Cradlepoint and our channel partners will be the path for future Ericsson-developed enterprise solutions. Unlike 4G, which was primarily a catalyst for consumers and mobile applications, the benefits of 5G are most beneficial to enterprises. To prepare for the wireless WAN and 5G wave, we are already expanding our cellular-centric resellers with traditional enterprise networking resellers,” a company spokesman said. “Any time there is a market disruption, like 5G wireless disrupting wireline WANs, there is an excellent opportunity for partners. Customers need a trusted adviser that has done the work to gain subject matter expertise to facilitate a transition. For example, Cradlepoint is the only vendor that offers its partners a ‘5G certification’ to help them prepare for the wireless WAN and 5G opportunity ahead.”
It’s a Match
“We have led the way in bringing the power of cellular networks and technologies to enterprise and public sector customers — helping them connect beyond the limits of traditional wired WANs,” said George Mulhern, CEO and chairman of Cradlepoint. “Ericsson with its global 5G leadership is a great match for us and I am very excited to continue to scale and expand our business together.”
Cradlepoint, which has more than 650 employees, was founded in 2006. The vendor, with headquarters in Boise, Idaho, provides wireless WAN solutions that deliver enterprise-grade connectivity. Cradlepoint also operates a research and development center in Silicon Valley. Moreover, it has new market offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.
IoT on the Radar
Cradlepoint has only acquired once company in the past five years. That was Pertino, a software-defined networking and network-as-a-service provider. The goal was to incorporate the Pertino cloud platform and its SDN capabilities into Cradlepoint’s 4G wireless and MPLS WAN solutions.
“As enterprises begin to connect ‘things (IoT)’ as well as people and places, they are telling us that they need a more scalable, secure and agile network,” said Mulhern. “This transition to an agile, software-driven infrastructure and service delivery framework was a key driver in the decision to acquire Pertino.”
Ericsson says the combined offering will create valuable new revenue streams for customers. That’s because it supports full 5G-enabled services for enterprise, and boost returns on investments in the network.
Cradlepoint will become a fully owned subsidiary of Ericsson and will continue to operate under its existing brand. It will be part of Ericsson’s Business Area Technologies & New Businesses. Ericsson plans to keep all of Cradlepoint’s employees.
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