August 11, 2016 — As the large sporting venues and prominent Tier 1 enterprises have become built out with DAS, the wireless infrastructure industry has set its eyes on the Tier-2 and Tier-3 facilities. These smaller venues have less traffic and carriers have little interest in funding a traditional DAS deployment. However, the tens of millions of square feet spread across hundreds of thousands of buildings in the United States, with mobile data hungry employees and customers, equals a huge opportunity.
Some time ago, Ray Hild, who has 26 years of experience in the wireless industry, including stints with Sprint Nextel, Corning and Galtronics, began developing a business plan designed to assist these Tier-2 and Tier-3 companies with their wireless needs. The answer, he decided, was to offer a number of extremely flexible solutions combined with equally flexible financing solutions catered specifically to the customer’s challenges.
Now as Vice President of Kavveri Telecom, a publicly traded company on the National Stock Exchange of India, he is bringing a new approach to marketing wireless technology to the enterprise. Kavveri is a worldwide manufacturer of a full line of antennas, filters, splitters and repeater based solutions. Kavveri is also the largest neutral host provider in India, serving as a third party wireless provider 3PO in malls, cricket stadiums and many of the largest office complexes. Kavveri also has an integration division called KayTech, and is an OEM that makes macrocell, public safety, ODAS and IDAS antennas, as well as digital filtering and off-air radio wave capture.
Although most of his expertise is in the DAS industry, Hild decided that the approach should be technology agnostic, because enterprise customers have other needs besides DAS such as Wi-Fi, smart buildings, public safety, audio visual, security, building controls and digital signage. These are also likely important components to the CIO’s overall long-range technology plans.
“In the DAS family, we have largely not recognized that we are all first cousins in the broader scheme of things. Other important technologies such as the Wi-Fi and Smart Building needs to be addressed as well. It is all just IP,” Hild said.“We were missing the bigger picture. We need to learn more about the enterprise’s technology plans for the next three to five years. What are they standardized on and what challenges might exist staying up to date with the latest upgrades? What do the enterprise’s employees need to perform their daily tasks? How can they best serve their external customers? How can we solve these issues more holistically?
Another key to penetrating the enterprise market is developing partnerships with the carriers, distributors, OEMs and integrators, as well as the enterprise itself. Hild calls his concept “wireless as a service.” He stated that there are many DAS projects that were never built due to budget gaps in the Tier-2 and Tier-3 customer segments. In addition, there are many projects that can be built with this new approach.
“How can we help each one win? The program must drive value to all parties. How can we help the integrator drive more revenue?” How can we make it easier for the carriers? How can we cover the resource and budget gaps that exist in the medium sized business across the country? There is no box here. There can’t be. Each project will be different.”
Hild wants to connect the dots for the distributor as well. They stock a wide variety of product solutions from 100’s of manufacturers and 10’s of thousands of SKUs across many business units that serve multiple different technologies. CapBridge can be a valuable tool that can help the distributors to craft solutions from their different business units to solve a problem is pretty rewarding,” Hild added.
Back in the day, a new PBX could be written off as a capital expense, but today’s wireless technology changes so quickly that many times in makes sense to look at OPEX vs. CAPEX within the customer’s budgetary strategies. “The goal is to understand their plan and identify gaps in the resources and then find money to pay for it. With access to flexible funding, the OEM, distributor or integrator will have the ability to close more deals,” Hild said.
The banking transaction must be developed with the customer’s needs in mind much the same way the collaborative hard work came together to solve the customer’s communications issue. In some instances, Hild said CapBridge will maintain ownership and lease the equipment back to the enterprise.
Currently, Hild is helping Kavveri build up brand recognition in the United States. Kavveri is largely focused on the underserved Tier-2 and Tier-3 enterprise customer, although they are prepared to compete for the large venues as well. “That is my wheelhouse. We have no pre-determined answers, which is how I like it. I will serve the small and medium sized projects all day long, because they are easier and have fewer political issues. We are solving communications issues for customers that could not get it done any other way.”