Category Archives: Conference

Catching Up With Ekahau Now That Sidekick Has Been Out Awhile

When Ekahau’s Sidekick Wi-Fi measurement hardware product came out, I was fortunate to be a pre-release beta tester and to be along for the ride when Sidekick went public. I wrote about it here at wirednot and on my IT Toolbox blog as well. There was a lot of buzz and energy around Sidekick’s debut, but that sort of excitement doesn’t always last very long. Being the inquizitive type, I got wondering about how Ekahau themselves thought the launch of Sidekick went. To satisfy my curiosity, I called my my favorite Finnish guy Jussi Kiviniemi- Ekahau’s Senior Vice President (and someone I consider a pal). Our conversation is summarized here.

Lee: So Jussi- It’s been a few months since product release. Did Sidekick meet Ekahau’s expectations as far as customer response goes?

Jussi: I have to tell you, Lee, that response has been wonderful. It’s been beyond our expectations, which is why we’ve had a bit of a backlog of units to ship. Now that our factory line has reached pretty much full speed, the unit wait time has decreased to a couple of weeks. Our customers themselves have helped to spread the word, and we’ve also been busy working different events like Cisco Live and Aruba Atmosphere to raise awareness.

Lee: Awareness has definitely been raised, I’d say. Does the favorable response at this level surprise you at all?

Jussi: Thankfully a lot of bloggers and Ekahau believers have been great advocates for us and Sidekick. We are really lucky like, that, and appreciate it very highly. If anything surprises me, it would be that despite the cost and that there isn’t another product like this out there to compare to, there has been this overwhelming response.

Lee: Have you found that Sidekick’s warm reception has bought any tangential benefits to Ekahau in general?

Jussi: We’re selling A LOT more of our Ekahau Site Survey / Planner software as well, which is wonderful. Some of that is certainly due to Sidekick, but truth be told, our strengthened sales team has also successfully got the new distributor framework going on at the same time, which is further getting both Sidekick and ESS more exposure in the US and globally.

Lee: So what distributors are on board now?

Jussi: Within the last year, we’ve added more than a dozen new distributors all across the world. Ingram Micro is a big new one, Synnex is another big, they’ve been with us for a while already. I also have to mention that we’ve got our long-running Technology Partners as part of our family, too. And it’s not just the CIscos, Arubas, Ruckuses and Huaweis of the world we work very closely with. Think about Keith Parsons of Wireless LAN Professionals as an example- the Ekahau training that he and his all-star team provides is so good… because his services are excellent, our tools look that much better, and that helps spread the word.

Lee: Awesome- and agreed on WLAN Pros. So I have to ask: what comes next for Sidekick? I learned as an early user that this tool is expected to evolve. Anything you can share yet in that direction?

Jussi: Oh you’re right, Lee, that we’re far from “done” with Sidekick’s capabilities. It’s the foundation of our future business – the future software products of coming years will be built around the Sidekick that was released in September. I can’t really say too much specifically, but I will share that in early 2018 we’ll be announcing additional capabilities for the currently shipping Sidekick that will make the survey process significantly easier and more convenient. Let’s just leave that one there for now.

Lee: Aw, you big tease! At least you’re giving us all something to dream about… Now what about ESS- what else is coming there?

Jussi: Again, I can’t spill too many beans right now. But we know we have competition, and we respect where maybe they have a discreet feature that we lack in ESS. We’re working on those…Also our customers ask us if we’ll be doing any cloud-based project management and sharing kind of stuff. Ekahau is well aware that the world is moving to the cloud. We’re living in the world, too, so all I can say is keep watching for announcements.

Lee: Alright, Jussi. Fair enough. Congrats again on Sidekick’s success to date. When am I going to cross paths with you again- maybe WLPC?

Jussi: Thank you, and absolutely, I’ll be there to talk through some of our upcoming stuff with our team. BTW, the registration for WLPC is now open, and it always sells out. Just saying… Always great talking to you Lee!

And there you have it! To learn more about Ekahau:

Company Web Site

Enterprise Site Survey (ESS)


Wi-Fi NOW Conference in April Looks Pretty Damn Good

FINAL_Wi-Fi-logoSo many conferences, so little time. I know that I’m not alone in wishing that I had the time and budget to attend all of the conferences that are available these days to WLAN professionals. There’s one coming up fast (April 18-20) that has my interest piqued, and that’s the Wi-Fi NOW International Expo and Conference, in Washington DC. Given that I just attended the WLAN Professionals Conference in February, my circumstances don’t let me get to Wi-Fi NOW.

But… being a good looking, well-connected gonzo bloggist does afford me certain other little perks- like being able to talk with the man behind Wi-Fi Now to get his perspective on why this event is getting to be very popular. I caught up with Claus Hetting (CEO and Chairman of Wi-Fi NOW, video blogger, and all-around Wi-Fi guy) and gave him a chance to share why he’s passionate about the conference.

Here’s how it went:

ME: I can’t make this one, Claus. But it looks like it’s gonna be awesome.
Claus: we will miss you at the event but very much hoping to get you on board for the next one 🙂


It looks like you have great representation from a variety of wireless spaces and interested parties.
Claus: Indeed. We’re covering all of in-home, enterprise, cities, carriers, emerging markets, and security.

That’s awesome. What are you especially excited about for the attendees?
 For your contacts this is probably the most important: We’ll be taking a deep-dive into all the new standards including ax, HaLow, and WiGig including presentations & panels with the tech & business leaders in Wi-Fi.

What are the bigger players bringing to share?
Claus: We’ll have keynotes by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the FCC will be there, various well known analysts will present, and we’ll have lots of lively debates & discussions.

Is this one of those events that’s only for big companies?
Claus: We’re very happy that a lot of startups are joining us, too.

Wi-Fi NOW looks like a really decent event for anyone in or interested in Wi-Fi, at any level. What else do my blog readers need to know?
This is the conference agenda. And you can have a look at our Show Guide including main themes here as well.

And there you have it! The lineup of speakers is impressive, and I do look forward to getting to Wi-Fi Now in the future.  If you decide to go, make sure you take advantage of the 25 %discount that Claus has created for readers of this blog. It applies to all ticket types (individual days, expo, Gold pass).

To manually claim the discount, enter this code: LeeBWFN25

Finally, if you have any questions on Wi-Fi NOW or want to follow Claus’ various activities (and he is fascinatingly busy), his contact information is below:

Claus Hetting

CEO & Chairman Wi-Fi NOW
CEO HETTING Consulting
Ph. +45 25 34 17 05
Skype: claushetting

As always, thanks for reading!