Turning free Wi-Fi into a revenue generator

PowerCloud Systems has a way to turn a business offering free wireless access to clients into not just a way of generating goodwill, but also a way of generating business insight and even a return on investment.

The vendor, which focuses on cloud-powered networking solutions for businesses supporting connected mobile guests, has integrated application and analytics functionality from partners Cloud4Wi and Swarm into its CloudCommand Wi-Fi Platform. The solutions give CloudCommand operators access to advanced mobile marketing services and, according to the vendor, the ability to turn the Wi-Fi connectivity offered to customers into a platform for revenue-generating services.

“Providing Wi-Fi for customers is actually a revenue opportunity for businesses, as well as an opportunity for customer engagement, but many businesses continue to treat Wi-Fi as a cost burden,” said Jeff Abramowitz, CEO of PowerCloud Systems, in a statement. “By implementing a wireless network capable of delivering other mobile applications, not only are they meeting their customers’ needs, they can improve customer engagement and get real-time information about their business in exchange for providing this Internet access.”

For example, Cloud4Wi allows businesses to offer additional services over their hotspots, such as showing mobile customers a customized portal branded for the business, with specific apps as services, when they log into the hotspot.

“Cloud4Wi delivers a customizable and easy-to-manage Cloud Wi-Fi hotspot cloud solution that enables MSPs and other partners to offer much more than just Internet access. These companies can now deliver geo-based Web apps, business tools and active content to create value and monetize the Wi-Fi connection they’re providing to their guests,” said Andrea Calcagno, Cloud4Wi’s CEO, in a statement. “We’re excited to partner with PowerCloud because the flexibility and scalability of their platform makes it easy to manage multiple Wi-Fi networks, thus reducing TCO.

PowerCloud Systems has also integrated a presence API into the CloudCommand platform with Swarm Mobile, a retail analytics and customer engagement platform.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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