Startup Celona launches channel program ‘Fanatics’: Exclusive

Celona, ​​a newcomer to the wireless connectivity space, has launched a new solution provider partner program on the heels of bringing on its first channel head and closing its oversubscribed $60 million Series C funding round. this spring.

The Fanatics channel program gives resellers, MSPs and system integrators a formal way to interact and register private 5G and LTE deals with Celona, ​​the company told CRN exclusively. The main route from Celona to the market is through the canal.

“Celona is adding a lot of power and a lot of talent,” said Ed Walton, CEO of Celona partner StepCG, who has been working with the company for the past year.

MSP StepCG has developed a strong cellular practice and partners with companies such as Cradlepoint and Celona. The company has been deploying private cellular networks for its business and educational customers for two years and integrating that technology with traditional wired and wireless infrastructure.

Players like Celona go beyond the limits of traditional connectivity and companies are taking notice. Having a strong channel program will help Celona extend private cell telephony to more businesses, Walton said.


Upstart Celona Unveils Enterprise 5G Platform To Unite Wi-Fi, Cellular Connectivity


The Cupertino, California-based newcomer to the market has been actively pursuing the channel as its primary route to market since its inception in 2019. Celona launched its first 5G LAN platform in November 2020.

In March, Celona closed a $60 million Series C funding round led by DigitalBridge Ventures, the venture capital initiative of DigitalBridge Group Inc. Robert Mustarde, senior vice president of worldwide sales for Celona, ​​who joined the company in January, said the company is in a great position with an “overflowing” bank account to accelerate its go-to-market strategy.

“We’re doing all the right things to make sure we have an extremely long runway, not least of which are the closing of new customer acquisitions and the signing of two very large global partners, including NTT,” he said.

The new Fanatics program will provide partners with a deal registration framework, as well as engagement and training resources in the field, said Ron Gill, channel head for the Americas for Celona (pictured above). The program will help Celona build trust with its partners.

“Partners feel that some of those big name brand companies that are out there are maybe competing against them, in many cases, for the same business. So when you’re new and you’re fresh, and you have a reputation for building structures where clients win and partners win, that message resonates,” Gill said.

The opportunity around 5G, while still new, is surprisingly a major area of ​​investment for many solution providers, Gill said.

“This technology represents where everything is going when it comes to digital transformation. And when you’re bringing a new slice of wireless spectrum to customers to solve use cases and deliver results they’ve struggled to achieve, it’s a great place for partners to invest,” he said. “One of the big surprises I’ve had since I got here is how many partners are developing 5G practices.”

StepCG’s Walton pointed to Celona’s senior leadership and the company’s CEO, Rajeev Shah, who spent more than a decade leading product management for Aruba Networks as one of the company’s first employees. In March, the company brought on Gill as its first channel manager, a tech veteran with more than 20 years of experience creating channel programs.

“Obviously, since a lot of the team comes from Aruba, they really understand the world of enterprise networking,” he said. “It’s good to see [Gill] come aboard we have met [Gill] in the industry and we think it’s going to be a great relationship.”

With more than 25 years of sales experience in the networking space, Gill most recently served as Senior Director of Customer Experience, Global Marketing for Cisco. Prior to that, he was VP of Americas Sales for Aerohive Networks for almost three years until Extreme Networks acquired the company. Prior to that, he served as vice president of enterprise sales for the Americas for Ruckus Wireless.


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