With this in mind, Zello has partnered with Pryme, a longtime maker of LMR speaker microphones and other radio accessories, to develop solutions that address myriad work scenarios.

“Essentially, these are the speaker mics that radios have used, but you can use them with your smartphone,” Cortina said. “You have can have your iPhone in your pocket and then receive all of these messages from Zello Live—as you would with any radio—and then reply without having to pull out your phone, by pushing a button on the Pryme devices.”

Pryme President and founder Dave George said that his company’s ability to develop custom accessory products for Zello or other PoC solution providers is attributable to Pryme’s manufacturing philosophy.

“It’s turned out to be a pretty good relationship with [Zello], because—not being a hardware company—what if they run into an end user who has a specific need for something?” George said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Pryme is one of the companies that responds the fastest with new product development. I think that just fits in really well for us, since—years ago—we made a decision to do all of our Bluetooth in house—the technology, the software, the hardware, etc.

“That makes us a bit unusual. Most of our competitors outsource a lot of that stuff, and every time you want to get the software changed or you want to add a new feature, you always have to have these negotiations with your supplier about the NRE (non-recurring engineering) expenses and the MOQs (minimum order quantities) and all of that stuff. We don’t have those kinds of issues, so that’s worked out very well for us.”

George said he has seen a noticeable shift in the accessory market in recent years. Prior to 2016, accessories for PoC solutions represented less than 1% of Pryme’s sales, but more than 10% of the company’s sales during 2016 were associated with PoC use—a trend that is continuing during 2017, he said.

“We do work with a lot of other app companies, and it seems like there’s a new one every day,” George said.

Cortina echoed this sentiment about the popularity of PoC solutions.

“A lot of companies are now switching over to smart devices,” Cortina said. “Radios have their place, and they’re here to stay for awhile, I would say. But, really, smartphones are taking over.”