Nicola_Savage_-_ExcelerateAn interview with Nicola Savage, Sales & Marketing Director at Excelerate Group ahead of the 2015 Transport & Security Expo.

Q: Nicola, what can you tell us about Excelerate Group?

A: Excelerate is the leading provider of real-time data, video and voice via satellite and wireless solutions. We design and develop resilient rapidly-deployable communications solutions for difficult or remote environments which may be integrated into mobile, fixed or portable formats. We are predominantly involved with emergency response and government organisations that need to be able to send and receive information or instantly create a resilient network in which to send and receive data without relying on terrestrial infrastructure. We operate internationally, but we have a particularly big presence in Australia, the Middle East and the UK, where we are market leaders in what we do. We’re a growing team, and are currently recruiting in lots of areas to support our growth. Our employees and our customers are the most important thing to us, so we’re investing heavily here. We’re focussing on being agile in the market and anticipating the changing needs of our customers; supporting them in the best way possible.

Q: Are there any sectors in particular that your company supports?

A: Our applications can be transferred across a number of sectors: our customers operate in diverse conditions and therefore have diverse requirements. What we provide is the ability to connect wherever they are – for example, for those working remotely in the oil or gas industry or for those who have to work in non line of sight locations or in other harsh environments. We provide the facility to send or receive data, video or voice communication in these territories, as normal networks either don’t exist or they become restricted or compromised. Essentially, we’re providing them with continuity; plugging the gap in communications that can arise from operating in these harsh environments. Transportation is a new sector for us, though, which is why we’re exhibiting at this year’s Transport Security Expo.

Q: What will you be showcasing at Transport Security Expo?

A: A real mix of solutions: vehicle-based solutions, such as 4×4 rapid response units, to larger command and control vehicles to portable, rapidly deployable communications. We will show an array of resilient communications infrastructures, ranging from private GSM and LTE networks through to rapidly deployable cameras, such as body worn cameras to automatic lamp post climbing camera systems to cameras with the ability to give penetration in non line of sight environments for real-time information and video footage.

Q: Are there any particular trends or rising demands that you are seeing at the moment?

A: We’re certainly seeing an increasing demand for body worn cameras across all sectors: there’s a real need for real-time information for people on the ground. What Excelerate specialises in is real-time transmission of information, so it’s a slightly different offering from some of the normal body worn cameras, which are more about decision logging or recording by one person. We get real-time information from a person and transmit that back to a control room environment or to a vehicle, where it can be monitored and then potentially streamed to other authorised locations, to support real-time decision-making. So it’s more niche and specialised than the standard body worn cameras that you see.
One of the key technologies that’s really emerging now, particularly in our core business, is related to the proposed changes to Airwave’s networks, and other networks, which has given rise to the private provision of LTE – the technology behind 4G. This is an area we can support our customers with; providing a resilient and independent communications ‘bubble’ on demand for them to connect various devices such as laptops, smartphones, pda’s and so on, allowing transmission of data, video and voice to and from that bubble as required.

Q: It is your second year at Transport Security Expo. Why have you decided to attend again this year?

A: Attending Transport Security Expo is incredibly important to us. Being here gives us the ability to get in front of people in a new market environment. Last year there was a lot of interest in our capability; it was a real eye-opener, seeing how our products and services met the needs and matched the demand for the gaps in communication in transport infrastructures. This year we want to re-engage with the people we met last year, continue those discussions, and identify how we might be able to provide more support in those environments. For us, the Transport Security Expo is an opportunity for us to engage with key people, understand their needs and challenges, and develop solutions that support their needs.

Q: This year, over 30 international delegations will be attending the Transport Security Expo – are you hoping to meet representatives from these delegations?

A: Absolutely. The thing we have found is that there is normally a catalyst or a reason that prompts someone to approach us for support – for example, our entry into the Australian market was down to the bush fires and Black Saturday. In the Middle East, on the other hand, the need for support is often driven by the threat of terrorism and the need for heightened security. For us it’s all about engaging with people who have a real need, with whom we then work alongside to develop a solution to plug their communications gaps, which can range from vehicle-based solutions right up to large-scale, multi-platform projects, such as one we delivered to support the NATO Summit last year. Resilience is a key word in what we do, especially when it comes to security. So we do see great value in talking to people outside the main areas we are involved in, and discussing ways in which our solutions might support them.

Q: What other aspects of Transport Security Expo are you looking forward to?

A: This year I was privileged to have been asked to be on the Advisory Board for Transport Security Expo. I have really enjoyed contributing to the ideas and discussions, and talking with the other Board members. It’s been a great experience, and for a show like Transport Security Expo it’s a huge advantage. Security is a rapidly growing and changing sector, so having a body of people to generate and debate issues and ideas is really essential.