Solution Series: BIG announcement from Grandstream
Jeff: Welcome back to the Solution Series hosted by yours truely, Jeff Holdenrid.
Today we have a special guest from Grandstream, I want to introduce Hieu Huynh. Welcome to the show sir.
Hieu: Thanks Jeff. It is an honor for us to be here, and an honor for us to be a part of this series.
Jeff: Quick announcement for everyone; recently DoubleRadius has built a partnership with Grandstream. We are really excited, not only about what they have done in the past but what they have coming in the future. We are going to talk a little more about that today.
Grandstream is not a new company, how many years have you been around now?
Hieu: 20 years. We have a big anniversary this year and closing it out strong!
Jeff: That is a nice milestone, congrats!
A Lot of people know the Grandstream name, it is not a new name and has been around for awhile, hopefully what a lot of people entertain and think when they hear the name Grandstream is Gateways, ATAs, Voiceover IP phones, etc .. that is a big market for you guys right?
Hieu: Yea, we have been a staple in the UC (Universal Connectivity) industry for quite some time. We started off with ATAs and IP phones, our portfolio has really evolved throughout the years and have grown quite a bit. We have, what some might say, too many products in our portfolio now. It really goes in line with what we are trying to achieve, that is being able to provide a full solution for all of your UC needs. As we have mentioned we started off with ATAs and gateways, and moved on to IP surveillance, and then into the video conferencing arena .. and now into networking. It has become a networking evolution through these past 20 years. We are just excited about some of the stuff we have coming out.
Jeff: When we had our last meeting you mentioned how many products you have coming out in the next year! You guys are pumping out products left and right, being really innovative in that.
Hieu: Absolutely. We are fully invested in the networking department. As you mentioned we have 32 new products just in that space alone coming out in the next 12 months. If that gives you an idea of how serious and dedicated we are to growing that space.
Jeff: That is great. We love to hear about new innovations. On the network side; Grandstream has been doing wireless access points for a little while now. What do you see as trends in the wireless access world right now?
Hieu: Just to give a little step back there. We, being in the UC market, we make end points, IP phones, ATAs, gateways, etc. What we had noticed is a lot of demand had started growing for wi-fi enabled devices. All of our phones, for example, have wi-fi capabilities. With those being deployed more and more we just found a need for a way to connect those phones to the network. That is how we started coming out with access points to begin with. Things have grown there and we now have a very solid product line that works well and is at the right price point, very competitive and the demand has grown quite a bit. Obviously right now we are in the middle of a wi-fi 6 transition, there is of course wi-fi 6e, and wi-fi 7 out now, but a majority of the enterprise and small business space are migrating to wi-fi 6. We have doubled down our effort on those types of devices. As wi-fi 6e has become more popular with the 6Ghtz frequency we will start moving in that direction with some our newer products next year.
Jeff: What is one of your fast movers off the shelf right now? Or what do you see as a big in demand product right now on the wi-fi side?
Hieu: For the most part our 4x4 wi-fi 6 access points are the most popular. Mostly because the technology allows you to have such a dense install. We support up to 750 clients per access point. People have realized they do not need to install as many access points to handle as many clients, so that has been very popular. It is a full-on 4x4, which sometimes you see a 4x4 from a competitor that perhaps is just on the 5Ghtz channel and they use a 2x2 on the 2.4, ours is a full-on 4x4.
Our 2x2 wi-fi 6 model is still very popular, it is at a much more competitive price point for those who have the resource restrictions.
Jeff: Currently on your APs you offer ceiling mount radio, a wall plate radio, and you currently do have an outdoor version, correct?
Hieu: Yes. We have the LR series, which is rated for outdoors and call them “LR” for Long Range. They do have a much more powerful antenna that can cover a further distance. We estimated an average of about 300 meters for our outdoor models.
Jeff: That’s awesome.
So, let’s talk about supply chain. How is everything looking on the supply chain when it comes to your wireless access points?
Hieu: Yes, the supply chain question … we get this question all the time. As a company we have been very lucky. We made some decisions early on before the chip shortages to stockpile on the chips needed. We have a very healthy supply chain and all the components necessary. We do not anticipate any shortages for the next 12-18 months.
Jeff: Music to my ears! We keep hearing stock is an issue, it is great to hear someone has products in stock and ready to ship that out to the clients right away.
Let’s get into management. A lot of people have a lot of products out there, Grandstream has solutions. Whether it is your networking solutions, voice solutions, etc … How do you manage your systems?
Hieu: With our networking product line up we do have very flexible management options for everyone. All of our access points have embedded controllers in them that eliminate the need for additional devices on your infrastructure. There is no need to have a separate appliance or to install separate software on your management laptops or PCs. These are really geared for the smaller deployments from 30 - 50 access points. Our most popular option, by far, is our cloud based management option. "GWN.Cloud" It is based solely on the cloud, completely free. In fact, all of these options are free. It has virtually unlimited amount of access points that you can manage through that platform. Basically, anywhere you have an internet connection, you can log in and manage your environment.
Lastly, we do have the same type of platform as the cloud, but packaged as a software that you can install into your own infrastructure, in the event that the customer needs to have full control over all aspects of their security policies.
Jeff: That's awesome! So we heard it - IN STOCK and FREE MANAGEMENT. Sounds like a winner!
One thing I do want to add is that you are joining us today, ready to do a new product announcement, and giving us a nice heads up to the future. Can you tell us what are you releasing soon?
Hieu: Here at Grandstream we are dedicated to growing the network space and the next logical step for us is to come out with network switches. We can bring everything onto the network. All of our devices, our UC devices, access points, video conferencing, and IP cameras all can now be physically connected to the infrastructure. We have a big line up of switches coming out very soon. In fact we have 20 different models of switches. The first line up that will be released are our Layer 2+ switches, in PoE and nonPoE variants. What really stands out for these switches are that they are cloud manageable for any of these cloud platforms that we have mentioned previously. They all come with the industry best 3 year warranty, and will be as competitive as all Grandstream devices are. Next year, we will be releasing our second batch of devices, which are our Layer 3 switches. We will have plenty of different variants there. We will also be releasing our arrogant switches to really get into the distribution switch market. We are really excited for that. It has also been a product that all of our customers have been waiting for, for at least a decade! I have been here for 15 years and most of that time we have been asked to come out with switches - we are finally doing it!
Jeff: That is great news. You are actually the first manufacturer to make a product announcement on this Solution Series and we really appreciate that. This is a big milestone even for us. We thank you for that.
When do you expect these switches to start being available for actual shipments?
Hieu: We have them on the water and they are on the way. We can expect a global launch date of December 1st, 2022.
Jeff: We are really excited about the relationship we have been building with you all. We appreciate the partnership between the two companies. I know the training with our sales team went very well, we have learned a lot more about Grandstream. Is there anything you would like to add to this segment?
Hieu: Yea, if I could pitch one thing it would be our Grandstream Academy (academy.grandstream.com), it is our certification series that we have for Grandstream. Of course, with the switches coming up, we will be revamping the networking certification really soon. They should be available by January 1st. Keep an eye out on the academy website for the training dates and locations, hopefully we will see everyone there!
Jeff: Hieu, thank you so much for being a part of the Solution Series today. To all of our viewers out there, call your sales reps for information, start getting pricing, and preorder. Like he said, the product is available, we are shipping all the wireless access points and will be shipping the switches as soon as they are released. We appreciate you watching and look forward to the next one.