Critical communication provider on mobile network
foresees strong growth

Interview with René Schenk from PrioCom by Mels Dees.

René Schenk has been General Manager at PrioCom since 15th November. His appointment means that the critical communication solutions provider is well-prepared for strong growth through the partner channel.

Schenk (47), previously worked for Getronics/PinkRoccade and also spent twelve years at KPN, including the last seven as director of Business Partner Organisation. In short, PrioCom’s new General Manager not only has a great deal of experience in the indirect channel, but is also explicitly familiar with technology at the intersection of IT and telecommunications.

“I had worked in large organisations for over 20 years and wanted to make the switch to a small, fast-growing organisation with a clear focus on a specific technology. I definitely found that in PrioCom and its solutions for critical communication.”

Not that working in a large organisation disappointed Schenk. “You develop a helicopter view of a large number of technologies, you are introduced to numerous partners and innovations, but you are often working at a relatively abstract level with a wide range of products and vendors.” According to Schenk, that certainly has its own interesting dynamic, but after all these years he now wanted to work on solutions at a different level of abstraction.

Schenk expresses his enthusiasm about the “very specific market” in which PrioCom is active “with very specific and innovative solutions.” Especially considering the ambition and growth path of his new employer, “which is entirely based on new technological possibilities.”

Proven quality

Processes in all businesses have been undergoing digitization for some time now, but when it comes to critical communication, this development started a little later. That is not surprising, when you want to be able to fall back on a proven solution ensuring that the continuity of business processes are not compromised. “We can now show in real terms that the new broadband solutions we provide not only offer the same reliability and continuity that the trusted radio technology offered, like push-to-talk radios, but much more than that. Customers can immediately see the benefit.” Schenk emphasises that all conditions end-customers can come up with regarding the deployment of the solution now and in the future, can be met successfully.

The new General Manager is facing a massive challenge. “There is still much to be done in this market. The technology providers, within which we offer a unique proposition, still have a huge job to do. Namely, not only convincing customers that our digital cellular broadband solution is at least as reliable as the current systems they use, but also of the extra options that innovative solutions for critical communication offer.”

In this regard, Schenk regards himself as a technology evangelist. “The end-customers use applications, for example for push-to-talk, in the same way that they have been doing for years now and have always had to do so.”

But just like in all other areas of their work, you see that digitization and the use of new devices with other platforms makes more possible. “This means that the end customer must now start thinking about the most powerful way to organise critical communication.”

For example, digital devices can also be used for location determination, giving a control room a continuous overview of where particular people are located within a building or on an industrial or festival site. Schenk: “Suppose, I can also use my device for taking and sending photos and videos. Then the control room can communicate what is happening in a much more targeted way.” In addition, the device can also be used preventively. “If an employee encounters a potentially dangerous situation at work, he can send a photo of it to the control room or a manager, so that an obstacle can be resolved before an accident occurs. This can save lives and prevent financial loss due to a process coming to a halt.”

All these solutions are within reach, and with the same reliability and stability provided previously by radio technology, thanks to the unique PrioCom service on the T-Mobile network.“It is an upgrade of processes to a higher availability level. You use the new technology standard (3GPP), which means that the solution is future-proof.”

Schenk makes clear that PrioCom manages all parts included in the solutions. “We know our ecosystem partners personally and know their quality level. We have access to the decision-making level of our suppliers. This means we can always intervene when needed.”

Opportunities for resellers

If you focus on business-critical communication as a reseller, you can certainly get the attention of organisations for the use of this technology, not only in industry, but also for example in healthcare and event organisations.

The fact that the solution uses an open platform (Android) also offers the reseller opportunities. “A reseller can, in close consultation with the customer, expand their own business apps on the platform. This prevents, among other things, that employees have to walk around with several devices on their belts.” In consultation with the reseller/partner, a company with a large two-way radio fleet can also choose to migrate in phases, and first use a hybrid solution with a link to existing systems. Schenk: “the reseller will talk to his end customer to see which migration path is most suitable. These resellers often already play a role in the customer’s telecommunications, and can also truly distinguish themselves by offering critical communication.”

Optimal partner support

PrioCom will continue to expand the partner channel in 2020. “Our organisation is up and running, we can now offer partners optimum support. This in the form of knowledge transfer, a reseller portal and marketing and sales tools. We will enter the market together with our partners. Our lead generation for partners is a key part of this.”

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