TMAC makes software mobile

TMAC makes software mobile

Chris Everitt, managing director

Chris Everitt, managing director, TMAC Wireless Solutions

“Do you want tracking with that?” TMAC Wireless Solutions has tried, tested and refined its business plan from a beginning in the consumer market to today’s specialisation in business. Now, the mobile dealer has thrown itself into the world of mobile software, which Chris Everitt, managing director, says is the missing link in revenue generation.

TMAC Wireless Solutions started out in 2001 as Nexus Communications, operating an outbound call centre for consumers on all networks. The company soon began working for several mobile dealers and turning a good profit, so quickly realised it should be doing more in mobile says Everitt. In 2002 the business changed its name to The Mobile Advice Centre, dealing with consumers. However, the consumer scene failed to prove profitable enough for Everitt’s satisfaction.

He explains: “Consumers have no loyalty. If someone comes out with a shinier handset or slightly lower price, they’re gone. We were doing both business and consumer, but consumer was tough. It was really hard work for little return. It’s the cost of supporting customers that’s the hassle.

“I’m not an empire builder,” continues Everitt, who’s entire staff is from a business background. “I want a lifestyle choice business, a good sustainable business that provides good service to customers. That’s why software and the business market are such a good fit for us.”

About three years ago TMAC made the decision that the consumer market was a bad fit for the business and opted to go back to its roots in B2B. At that

point, the company changed its name again, to the current version. Since then, it has built a local B2B base of around 400 customers, with a 95% customer retention rate.

Everitt decided that the company needed a further string to its bow, and tried to sell fixed line offerings on top of its mobile products. However, that idea fell flat on its face due to poor support and practice from suppliers and aggravation in the provisioning process, says Everitt.

He then forayed into the world of telematics, which was hard work two years ago and is even harder to make sales in now, Everitt claims, with high entry cost to the solutions and a concept sale that can be hard for buyers to understand the benefits of.

Yet the software aspect remained appealing, so Everitt came up with Panaramix. TMAC Wireless Solutions is an airtime business and its sister company, Panaramix, develops software for the mobile. The Panaramix suite of tools have and are being designed to bridge the gaps between the various disparate solutions that provide location tracking, workload management and planning, lone worker protection and remote data capture to businesses. It is all about bolting on modules to tailor packages to customer requirements, keeping things effective, simple and still low cost, says Everitt.

The model that the Panaramix tools have created works with the exiting mobile devices that are already commonplace within organisations; Everitt states that most companies are unlikely to provide their paidby- the-hour part time delivery or service guys the latest BlackBerry handset, but they are happy for them to use a rugged Nokia device, which is exactly what SIMlight supports.

Commenting, Everitt says: “We came up with using the mobile device as the tracking unit, offering a very similar interface to the customer but with the long-haul sales objections removed. It’s taken nearly two years to get over the technical issues surrounding the relatively new inclusion of GPS on handsets, as well as the availability of a good web based mapping system.

“We have worked with one of Nokia’s platinum development partners and now have a fully working product which allows businesses to see where there people have been and where they are, all on a Nokia candybar handset,” he continues. “We are already working on a lone worker panic alarm, job despatch and management and will soon be looking at mobile data capture.”

He sums up: “We see the buying decision for these ‘modules’ as similar to adding a tariff bundle – and that’s how we are looking to offer them – ‘do you want tracking with that?’…”

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