Article: PowerCloud Systems Enables Cloud-Managed Hotspots

SmallCloudBuilder picked up the news about our new CloudCommand Hotspot Edition.  Here’s the posting from veteran industry writer and analyst Tim Higgins.

PowerCloud Systemshas announced a new product for OEMs to create custom cloud-managed Wi-Fi hotspots.

CloudCommand Hotspot Edition is a cloud-based platform specifically designed to rapidly deploy and manage custom Wi-Fi hotspot solutions.

The new offering differs from the first CloudCommand platform by its focus on public hotspots vs. private networks. The Hotspot Edition enables OEMs to build a wide range of hotspot products ranging from free and open to pay-by-the-minute or bandwidth.

A key feature of Hotspot Edition is that it provides multiple revenue-generating opportunities through customizable connection plans designed to fit different business models. Businesses may offer free limited access, prepaid access, pay-as-go access or any combination of these choices. Network administrators and front-desk staff can adjust access and billing settings on an individual basis.

For pay type hotspots, PowerCloud Systems handles all the back-end processing for credit card payments, with no setup required.

Other features include introductory, free service upgradable to paid options, time-limited free access activated through text messaging and custom branded login portals and terms of use.

Read the article.

Article: Score One for the Business Guy with CloudCommand Hotspot Edition

Veteran networking industry blogger and trendspotter Lee H. Badman endorses our new CloudCommand Hotspot Edition in a big way in today’s excellent blog posting (emphasis added):

PowerCloud Promises Easy, Full-Featured Wi-Fi Hotspots

Posted by Lee H. Badman
May 23, 2011

Lee H. Badman, Network ComputingIt’s always a trip to pull into a small-town diner, walk in the door, and see the sign. It might be printed in simple font, or better yet, hand-scrawled. Whether it says “We Have Wi-Fi!” ,”Wi-Fi Here” or whatever, our expectation that wireless will simply be anywhere we land is more frequently being realized. Free wireless is always best from the user perspective, but its completely reasonable for a business owner to try to make a buck, or at least cover her costs, on the signal she provides for customers. Now PowerCloud Systems puts a new twist on the Wi-Fi hotspot notion, putting business-quality hotspot options at the ready for anyone wanting to serve up that wireless goodness we all crave.

A quick reminder about PowerCloud is in order. The self-proclaimed ‘leading provider of cloud managed networking device software for OEMs’ is in the business of providing the magic behind cloud-based wireless for small and medium enterprises. The premise is simple; commodity-grade hardware gets revved up to enterprise-quality with the PowerCloud feature set, and otherwise ordinary hardware like my own CloudCommand enabled DLink DAP 2555s gets impressive feature sets that are controlled via accounts in the cloud (appropriately), either directly with PowerCloud or more typically through an OEM.

The new CloudCommand Hotspot Edition provides options for those in need of easily-deployed customer-facing wireless. Whether the goal is to provide free Wi-Fi with a splash of advertising, or different tiers of pay-as-you-go service, CloudCommand has you covered. Single or multiple sites are managed through Hotspot Edition’s web interface, and management or front-desk staff can manipulate settings for customer classes or individuals. Who might use PowerCloud’s latest? Think medical clinic waiting rooms, hotels, resorts, and other settings where wireless done right might be passed on because of budget and IT skill constraints.

One of the most compelling aspects of Hotspot Edition’s arrangement between OEMs, the customer, and PowerCloud is the turn-key nature of the arrangement. When deployed, the service is complete with an e-commerce back-end that makes customer billing easy. Whether charging by the megabit or by the hour, the complexity frequently associated with billing for services is eliminated. If customers pay for Wi-Fi, PowerCloud handles the transaction and writes the subscribing Hotspot Edition business a check periodically. You can’t argue with simple, especially when its effective.

Again, as a user I want all the free wireless I can get when I travel. But if was going to provide wireless for my own customers, I would certainly consider using the likes of PowerCloud’s Hotspot Edition to at least cover my own Internet costs, especially with the ability to tailor my offerings and billing. And if I had multiple sites, the proverbial single pain of glass management of all of them would be appreciated. Score one for the business little guy.

Read the article.

Article: D-Link Launches Cloud Management Platform, IP Surveillance Cameras

Nathan Eddy, Associate Editor, Midmarket, at covers D-Link’s announcement of its cloud-managed products, leading with the new DAP-3525 AirPremier N Dual Band Exterior PoE Access Point powered by CloudCommand.  The DAP-3525 is the outdoor version of D-Link’s DAP-2555.

Unified networking solutions provider D-Link announced a line of cloud-managed products, including the DAP-3525 AirPremier N Dual Band Exterior PoE Access Point powered by CloudCommand, Insight and the DIR-605 Fuzion broadband aggregation router, which leverage cloud-based automation for remote configuration and monitoring, resiliency, load balancing, and security management that can be outsourced or handled internally.

The D-Link line of WiFi products powered by CloudCommand has been expanded with the DAP-3525 for outdoor deployment and offers features including selectable dual-band 2.4/5GHz for flexible IEEE 802.11n performance of up to 300M bps; 802.3af Power Over Ethernet (PoE) support; secure, segregated guest access with control privileges for each user; and a one-year subscription to CloudCommand Cloud service.

Read the article.

Interview: ZyXEL Discusses Cloud Strategy and CloudCommand

Here’s a terrific video interview with our newest partner, ZyXEL.

At Interop 2011, Tri Nguyen, the manager of ZyXEL’s Business Networking Products, describes the company’s major push into cloud-managed networking and the benefits it delivers SMB customers.  Tri explains how our CloudCommand technology will help ZyXEL meet its aggressive goals.

Watch the video.

PowerCloud Promotes Managed Wi-Fi to Service Providers

Nicholas Mukhar at MSPmentor covers our recent announcement of the CloudCommand Hotspot Edition:

Free and paid WiFi hotspots continue to proliferate in coffee shops, restaurants, libraries, public settings and businesses. So how can service providers better manage and maybe even monetize all of those hotspots? PowerCloud Systems thinks it has the answer. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has launched  CloudCommand Hotspot Edition. The company claims CloudCommand Hotspot reduces the cost and complexity of providing WiFi guest access for a wide range of businesses. True believers include Amicus Data (a boutique managed services provider) and Amer Networks (an international OEM).

Article: SmallCloudBuilder Catches Up with PowerCloud News

Veteran industry writer Tim Higgins returned from a weeklong vacation in Paris and wrote a catch-up article that includes not one, not two, but three different PowerCloud Systems stories.  Whew!  That makes us appreciate how fast things are moving here HQ.  We’re firing on all cylinders.

PowerCloud Systems announced a cloud-based platform for deploying and managing custom Wi-Fi hotspot solutions.

CloudCommand Hotspot Edition is the first cloud-based platform specifically designed to rapidly deploy and manage custom Wi-Fi hotspot solutions. This new offering dramatically reduces the cost and complexity of providing Wi-Fi guest access for a wide range of businesses, enabling them to meet the surging Wi-Fi demand of mobile users.

D-Link announced two more cloud-managed wireless products powered by PowerCloud Systems’ CloudCommand at the Las Vegas Interop show this week.

The D-Link DAP-3525 AirPremier N Dual Band Exterior PoE Access Point powered by CloudCommand, D-Link Insight, and D-Link DIR-605 Fuzion Broadband Aggregation Router leverage Cloud-based automation for remote configuration and monitoring, resiliency, load balancing, and security management that can be outsourced or handled internally, allowing businesses with limited IT resources and budgets to improve the uptime and cost-effectiveness of their networks.

PowerCloud Systems got two new design wins with ZyXEL‘s announcement of its NWA1100N-CE access point and Amer Networks’ announcement of its WAP223NC Access Point for the education market.

ZyXEL Communications today announced its first product, the NWA110N-CE, in a series of CloudEnabled(TM) Wi-Fi solutions for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). ZyXEL’S NWA1100N-CE has integrated business hardware features, including multi-operation modes, Power-over-Ethernet support and multiple SSIDs, with a convenient cloud-based management user interface.

Amer Networks today announces the launch of the first cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution designed specifically to meet the connectivity, budgetary, and ease-of-use needs of the education market. Amer’s Wi-Fi solution, the WAP223NC Access Point and Managed Software, empowers school districts and individual campuses to quickly deploy and easily manage robust 802.11n wireless environments that provide enterprise-class functionality but cost only a fraction of traditional enterprise solutions.

Read the Article.

Article:Networking Virtualization Software Takes Hold

Michael Brandenburg, Technical Editor at Tech Target, visited us at Interop 2011 last week.  He does a great job succinctly capturing the core functionality and value of our CloudCommand online software platform:

What’s all this software doing at my networking show?

If there was a general theme throughout my conversations with folks at Interop last week, it was that software is the future of networking…

…Cloud-based network management – which is basically software driven – was also the rage at Interop. PowerCloud, for example, was at the show explaining how its technology enables OEM partners to offer cloud-based management of wireless access points. This way, managed services providers can compete with the likes of Aerohive and Meraki. With a tiny bit of code added to their firmware, the access point, “calls home” to the hosted service, and is then linked to a particular customer through a unique identifier. Cloud-based management is, in many ways, giving the SMB market enterprise-class features and functionality without the capital outlay associated with large scale WLAN hardware solutions.

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