Harris, Zetron announce strategic partnership
Zetron and Harris today announced a strategic partnership that will let Harris sales channels offer Zetron’s AcomNOVUS dispatch console systems in connection with DMR and P25 radio offerings from Tait Communications that were the subject of a similar strategic partnership that was announced last year.
Lin Lindsey, Zetron’s director of strategic partnerships, said the Harris agreement largely mirrors the strategic arrangement that Zetron has had with Tait Communications for years, which allowed Tait dealers to sell Zetron’s AcomNOVUS dispatch console system when making radio deals. Last year, Harris and Tait signed a strategic partnership that effectively combined the sales force of the two companies.
“Zetron had had a longstanding relationship with Tait,” Lindsey said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “It’s really been an international relationship. We have sold with them for several years now, and the primary product line is our AcomNOVUS dispatch console system. Acom is designed to serve medium- to large-sized command and control rooms, whether in commercial or public-safety markets.
“The language in the agreement with Harris is virtually identical to the language in the [Zetron] agreement with Tait.”
As part of the agreement, Zetron will be able to support existing Tait customers that have been served recently by Harris, according to Lindsey. In addition, the Harris sales team will be able to offer an AcomNOVUS console system when selling a “Harris, powered by Tait” DMR or P25 radio system, he said.
Paul May, senior product manager for Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications, said forging a strategic relationship with Zetron makes sense for his company.
“The industry continues to evolve quickly and this partnership represents our combined commitment to creating open and innovative solutions for our customers,” May said in a prepared statement. “Harris is proud to bring its robust portfolio of system solutions for public safety and utilities to the partnership.”
In March, Harris announced a strategic arrangement with Avtec, another console manufacturer.
Zetron’s agreement with Harris does not cover Zetron’s MAX dispatch, call-taking and mapping solutions, which often are sold through Zetron dealers, Lindsey said. In contrast, the AcomNOVUS console systems are “extremely customizable,” so they are sold by Zetron’s direct-sales staff, he said.
“Literally every Acom system that goes into the market has unique characteristics to it,” Lindsey sad. “It’s a very flexible platform, but that also means that we decided early on that it was more than we wanted to take to market through our dealer channel. There’s just a lot of system engineering associated with it.
“One of the reasons [AcomNOVUS] is popular in large command-and-control centers is that it has a very robust telephony capability–basically, it’s got a full PBX built into it that can handle up to thousands of lines. When you look at places such as airline dispatch centers, railroad dispatch centers and utilities, there is as much—if not more—phone calls being handled by the dispatcher as radio. And, obviously, there’s often a requirement to patch together radio communications with telephony communications.”
Lindsey said the AcomNOVUS offering primarily has served utilities and transportation, including rail enterprises—primarily outside the United States—and in aviation, including air-traffic-control centers. The solution also has been adopted by some public-safety entities, such as large command-and-control centers, he said.