INTERVIEW: Karsten Micke, Hotsplots
by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 10 January 2017
It is not just consumer tech product vendors that take advantage of the powerful regional channel audience that gathers at DISTREE EMEA each year. The event is also an opportunity for a range of service and solution providers to harness the huge international channel reach that the delegate base can offer companies. One company looking to capitalise on the opportunity is Hotsplots, a provider of wireless hotspot solutions. Channel EMEA caught up with Karsten Micke, head of international sales at Hotsplots, to get the lowdown on the company’s plans for next month’s DISTREE EMEA in Monaco.
Channel EMEA (CE): What do you want to achieve at DISTREE EMEA 2017? What are your key goals for the event?
Karsten Micke (KM): With our participation at this year’s DISTREE EMEA, we aim to continue our path. We fulfil all necessary legal requirements in 30 European countries, which allows us to offer our Wi-Fi service there. So, our target for DISTREE EMEA 2017 is very clear. We are looking for distributors in several countries.
CE: What solutions will Hotsplots be showcasing at DISTREE EMEA 2017?
KM: Hotsplots offers professional public hotspot solutions for both stationary and mobile environments. We are able to provide fast and secure wireless internet connections to almost every location, even buses or trains. Our technology is proving its worth every day in hotels, hospitals, libraries, regional, local and municipal institutions, ski resorts, during events and trade fairs and at numerous other places and occasions.
Besides the technical features, we also offer our customers comprehensive legal protection through our VPN routing service. In addition, customers benefit from comprehensive access control. The hotspot operators can also decide how their clients can go online. We offer different possibilities. Our latest service additions are Hotsplots Tourist Info, Hotsplots Press and Hotsplots Cinema.
Hotsplots Tourist Info provides users with location-based tourist information via the hotspot whereas Hotsplots Press gives them access to numerous digital newspapers and magazines. With Hotsplots Cinema we offer a great entertainment service for bus and train operators.
CE: Describe how your channel business has developed in the past 12 months? What trends have you seen and what have been the highlights for your business?
KM: During the recent months, we have successfully strengthened our international business. We see a large growth potential in the area of mobile internet solutions for buses and trains and thus are proud to have established a worldwide cooperation with Bosch. This gives us a chance to provide world-leading coach manufacturers with wireless internet solutions. Also, we won a tender for the hotspot provider service and WLAN for the Colibri project of Deutsche Bahn.
CE: Which geographic areas and channels represent the greatest opportunity for growth for Hotsplots in EMEA?
KM: We see a great growth potential for Hotsplots throughout Europe and we havealready adapted our international strategy and roll out plans accordingly.
In the past 11 years, our growth and our innovative technologies have enabled us to constantly improve our services and offers. This success story combined with our fair and transparent partner models results in Hotsplots being an interesting partner for distributors throughout Europe. We offer a service range that goes way beyond internet access via Wi-Fi. With our additional Hotsplots Media services we set ourselves significantly apart from our competitors, to the benefit of our customers and distributors.
CE: Do you have a structured channel programme? Do you offer a strong margin proposition to your partners?
KM: We are offering fair, transparent and lucrative long-term channel programmes and commission models for our distributors and partners. Hotsplots has built a strong and reliable network of professional partners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We are supporting our partners with marketing materials and promotions, like shows and exhibitions. Together we take part in public tenders and work together in the project business. At present, we are looking to establish additional partner and distributor networks all over Europe.
CE: How quickly is your business growing in the EMEA region? What market trends have you identified that are impacting your business segment?
KM: We are in the middle of the realisation of our European strategy and have seen very strong interest and great potential. This potential can also be witnessed in the increase of international Wi-Fi minutes generated through us from 2.7 billion in 2013 to a stunning 9 billion in 2015.
CE: Is your company channel friendly? How would you describe your overall go-to-market approach in the EMEA market?
KM: Yes, within our partner and supplier networks we work with transparent and fair models from which all parties can benefit. A large number of customers and partners have formed a profitable long-term partnership with Hotsplots. As we are at present expanding our distributor networks by establishing new partners it is a chance for companies attending DISTREE EMEA to become part of our strong, reliable and profitable network. Be part of our success story and visit us at our booth at DISTREE EMEA 2017.