Customer Spotlight – Comtech TCS

SVP & General Manager discusses new location-based services for digital and IoT

Introduction I’m the SVP and General Manager of the location based services division for Comtech TCS. If you’ve ever dialed 911 in the United States, and I hope you haven’t, from your cell phone, we’re the ones who actually locate you. We pass that information on to the closest first responders or a public safety answering point. We’re in 85 countries worldwide providing location-based services to emergency service providers. Now we’re expanding into the IoT world, into the enterprise world for location-based services — feed management, asset tracking, you name it — anything to do with location including analytics. How are you accelerating the digital transformation of your business? Digital is absolutely critical. As we all know, most of the calls used to go over landlines and now it’s cell phones. The next step is IoT. IoT devices are actually going to be intelligent enough to make emergency calls on your behalf; to be able to diagnose what the emergency is and to be able to provide all the data that’s required for a first responder to be ready on arrival to serve you. You’re actually going to be able to prevent emergencies. You’re going to be able to prevent accidents, prevent any sort of catastrophes with the right analytics tools, predictive analytics, and with the ability to knit across nations, which is now a patchwork. There we will lead across geographies and across different virtual minds. What did you enjoy most about your experience with Apexon? It’s been fantastic and here is why. Most services companies and most companies that we deal with on a contractual basis tend to be very transaction-oriented. Whereas Apexon has been relationship-oriented, in it for the long haul with us based on our success or failure. They have been with us both ways. The most important thing is that they have a breadth of expertise which will function in their working through to IoT, through to telecom-embedded application development testing. There’s always someone at Apexon who’s got the skill set we need. They’re able to draw upon that, which is quite rare, on a very flexible basis. All companies eventually find somebody, but the fact that I can call on this myriad of skills and mix them together immediately is what Apexon brings to us. Describe Apexon in one word? Flexibility and the ability to be diverse in their core competencies and to be able to stitch those together. What were the key benefits? A lot of the stuff that we’ve done is really cutting edge with Apexon. For example, we’re bringing location to devices that have no ability to locate themselves. Small tags, right? We’ve come up with something called the IoT Location Platform and Apexon has been critical in helping us do that. Now, they’ve helped us develop chat bots. They’ve helped us get into one of the largest carriers in the United States with the virtualized network function that we just didn’t have the bandwidth to do on our own. So, they came to this party, provided expertise, provided manpower, and executed on time. If you look at the really hot areas like Cloud, they’ve done it for us; IoT, they’ve absolutely done that for us; and chatbots, absolutely. I look forward to working with them on future endeavors, too, like predictive analytics based on location, and data mining, data management, data security. That’s really what I’m looking forward to engaging with Apexon on going forward.