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Serving the International Wireless Marketplace

Wed, 09/21/2011 - 7:53am
Donn Wilkins, VP Channel Management, Interop Technologies (www.interoptechnologies.com)

Donn WilkinsWe at Interop Technologies see almost endless opportunities in the international wireless market on both a product and a region basis. In Latin America, we are already gaining traction because our products are able to “change the game” by offering far greater financial efficiencies to our customers due to our ability to process many thousands more message attempts per second than other vendors. In Asia, we have successfully installed our over-the-air (OTA) provisioning system in the fast-growing Indonesian market. Additional OTA and messaging opportunities are under negotiation in India, and let’s not forget that Africa is providing vast opportunities as well. 

Interop is quite well positioned in the LATAM markets due to our focus on that region in the past three-plus years. We are now “branching out”, not only going the direct sales route, but also aggressively pursing use of channel partners throughout the rest of the world to take advantage of all the new business that’s out there. That has led to my recent appointment to the position of VP Channel Management. 

Generally, the challenges in channel management for Interop’s mobile data solutions are not technically related, as we believe we have the best technology in the world. We’re just not big enough to adequately cover the globe as thoroughly as we would like, and as we know we must. Therefore, channel management is our new focus. Once we get our partners onboard and educated about our solutions, we’re very confident that we can consistently grow our business globally. Our strategy for resolving these issues is all about our focus. Now that we are dedicated to our new strategy, we’ll be able to more effectively engage potential channel partners, get them signed on, and keep them actively sponsoring our products.

A comparison can be made between the wireless industry and the airline business. On the surface they appear to be two completely different businesses, but there are some surprisingly obvious comparisons. First, both businesses are faced with near continuous stresses of consolidations and price pressure. This in turn puts pressure on vendors to continuously look for better, quicker and less expensive products to offer customers so that they may compete. From a personal perspective, the only difference for me is that when I was with American Airlines, I was looking at it from a customer’s view, and now of course, I’m viewing it as a supplier. From a technical view, however, more similarities jump out at me.

The first one is the common objective of hosted services. The SABRE system that I once helped support hosted literally thousands of customers who shared the resources to provide pricing, reservation, and ticketing services to travel agencies and travel related companies around the world. This was done from a single processing site in the United States. While certainly not on the same scale as SABRE, Interop offers similar hosting services to our customers from two geographically diverse processing sites in the States as well. Finally, one of the things I learned from the airline industry that plays very well in our wireless business is the need for critical service reliability. In many cases, “carrier grade” is not good enough, and Interop constantly strives to deliver better than that.  

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