FreeWave Primed to Capitalize on Fast-Growing Industrial M2M Market

By Peter Bernstein July 09, 2014

The industrial segment of the machine-to-machine (M2M) market is one of fastest growing parts of the overall Internet of Things (IoT) landscape. Boulder, CO-based M2M solutions provider FreeWave Technologies is looking to capitalize on its expertise in this market and has announced the appointment of Kim Niederman as its new CEO.

Niederman brings to FreeWave more than 20 years of senior executive experience (including serving as CEO and president) with a successful leadership track record in public and private companies of all sizes – ranging from large, high-tech (Cisco Systems), to mid-sized corporations (Polycom, Inc., FORE Systems, 8x8, Inc.), and several start-up firms. Most recently, he served as president of 8x8, Inc. Along with Niederman’s appointment, FreeWave co-founder Steve Wulchin will continue to play a significant role by serving as president and overseeing FreeWave’s penetration into existing and new international markets.

“FreeWave has built a great management team and employee base, along with innovative technology, to support customers with mission-critical applications in the fast-growing M2M and IoT markets,” said Niederman. “We have the right people with the right technology at the right time. I couldn’t be more excited to help lead this company to its next level of success.”

Building on Vision and Expertise

For more than 20 years, FreeWave has been focused on its vision of a customer-centric approach to providing selected verticals with high quality, wireless data communications in challenging conditions for mission-critical applications. This resulted in a solid customer base in its core markets of oil and gas, government and defense, precision agriculture and utilities. In fact, it has deployed more than one million radios in the field. The selection of Niederman to continue this growth and expand the company’s reach in the industrial M2M and IoT markets was “a natural fit,” according to Wulchin.

As part of the new positioning of the company, FreeWave has introduced not just Niederman but its entire new management team. The whole team consists of:

  • Kim Niederman, CEO
  • Steve Wulchin, Co-founder and President
  • Karl Kunz, Chief Financial Officer – formerly CFO at Carefree of Colorado; Director of ISC FP&A at Honeywell Aerospace; and, several years in Finance at Hewlett-Packard.
  • Ashish Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of Products – formerly Vice President, Marketing at Alvarion; Vice Chair, Marketing Working Group of the WiMAX Forum; Director of Business Development at Ericsson; and, Manager, RF Engineering at Qualcomm.
  • Greg Veintimilla, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering – formerly President and CEO at Vintrana; Vice President, System Engineering and Advanced Technologies at Powerwave Technologies; Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering at RadioFrame Networks; and, Manager, DSP Software Development at AT&T Wireless.
  • Ken Granader, Vice President of Sales – formerly Vice President at Polycom; Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Switchpoint Networks; Regional Manager at Cisco; and, Major Account Sales Manager at Xerox.
  • Kelly Wenzel, Director of Human Resources – formerly Senior Regional Human Resources Manager – East and West Coasts – at Animal Health International; Director, Communications at SeatonHill; President HR Strategy and Compliance Consulting at Wenzel Consulting Firm; and, several other Human Resource and Communications positions in other leading organizations.

“FreeWave is only as strong as the team and leadership it employs,” said Wulchin. “That’s why I am excited to bring Kim on board to complete our senior management team. We now have the executive vision and talent to lead our employees in delivering innovative new technologies for our customers in the industrial M2M and IoT markets. The solutions we will deliver, together with a strong strategy and execution plan, will help take FreeWave to exciting new levels while continuing to serve our customers with the care they have come to expect.”

The expected growth of the industrial M2M market plays well into FreeWave’s expertise as demonstrated by its recent introduction of WavePoint, the company’s new versatile high-speed wireless networking platform that securely communicates industrial data over long distances to enable M2M, IoT, broadband and SCADA applications. Since its market introduction in March, the WavePoint product family has already received four M2M industry awards for its innovation and technology design.

“The M2M and IoT markets are redefining the tech ecosystem and offering tremendous opportunities for growth and solution differentiation,” said Chris Rommel, executive vice president at VDC Research. “Players who develop a well-crafted strategy aimed at key vertical markets and that offer game-changing technologies will be able to take advantage of a promising industry ripe for leadership and innovation.”

One thing is clear as the industrial M2M market continues to explode: It is providing high-performance, high-speed data services for mission-critical projects in hard to reach places, which is now at a premium around the world. FreeWave literally is positioning itself to capture that wave. 

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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