Recently I spoke with John Horn, president of RACO Wireless, about the past, present and future of wireless connectivity.
RACO, a T-Mobile partner, specializes in wireless data solutions for machine-to-machine (M2M) industries, which allows wireless systems to connect with other devices. John explains how M2M is now being used all across the world.
“Each industry has become integrated with M2M technology. From the insurance industry which uses it for monitoring discounts to even the ice industry monitoring their inventory. It’s important to show that M2M has become mainstream,” he said.
As Brad Pitt said in Inglorious Basterds, ‘Business is a boomin’. Raco has seen a 300% growth in 2011 and has provided new solutions for providers in less than a day.
How has RACO been able to perform and grow at such a high level? John explained the keys to his success came down changing the way he looked at wireless altogether.
“The team has been together for over 9 years and has 200+ years of M2M experience. This translates into a wealth of knowledge to help our customers build successful business models. We have seen what works and what doesn’t and know what trouble spots to look out for,” Horn said.
The keys, Horn said, are flexibility and the ability to quickly turn around a solution that’s right for the business.
“The old business model was to have companies go through long certification processes in order to put a new device or product on the carrier network,” he said. “This takes thousands of dollars and many weeks. Then you have to buy a rate plan that exists from a carrier or wait for weeks for them to build a new one. Then it takes weeks to connect into whatever management platform they are using and tie up IT resources to get it accomplished.”
Now, it takes John and Raco only a few short hours to complete the process.
“We created a whole new business model which allows us complete flexibility and shortens the business model to one day. We have eliminated or simplified these steps”
With all the company’s growth, it still faces challenges. While M2M is growing, its still a niche many people don’t know about, and RACO is struggling to become a household name.
“The biggest problem we have right now is marketing, getting our name out there,” he said. “We print ads and appear at trade shows but we’re also looking into other avenues to explore.”
However, Horn sees a bright future for the M2M industry. “We have seen massive growth. It comes down to if you support it or not. If you support it, you will come out a winner.”