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Good connexions: Come for the innovation, stay for the experience

Mark Coxen is a senior sales manager for Quectel Connectivity Solutions based in South Africa and works across multiple areas of Quectel’s products and solutions portfolio, which now includes IoT connectivity. Here he explains what attracted him to join the company and how he has experienced the company’s fast-paced working environment

If you look at Quectel’s history over the last 10-11 years, it’s clear that our founder Patrick Qian started with a vision which he shares with the employees. So regardless of the level that you start in, he offers a vision for moving forward, and if you take ownership of that vision, what you find is that you have an exponential growth pattern within Quectel. This is based on Patrick’s vision of him looking forward at what’s coming.

This is why he started with modules and wanted to be the best module vendor in the world. And now he’s reached that goal but he didn’t reach it alone, he reached it through envisioning and equipping each member of staff within the context of Quectel. From a sales perspective, you are wearing your suit at corporate high level meetings and you’re negotiating with high level management at customers and distributors alike, then in your next meeting, you’re sitting in your overalls in the engineer’s offices and talking about various products down to the nuts and bolts level.

IoT connectivity services – Quectel’s next leap forward

I’ve seen how our FAEs have grown with technology as they have always been put to the challenge and the test. For any person wanting to come into Quectel, it’s a career path that comes with a bit of an old school flavour. In today’s market you see people for two, three or four years, and then they change position or job but at Quectel a lot of people have been here for eight to ten years. That length of tenure is a bit unusual in the technology market. So it’s kind of demonstrative that people are getting what they need to out of their jobs personally, as well as pushing the company forward.

Now we’re leaping forward again by offering connectivity as well as modules and antennas. This makes perfect sense because what is needed is for IoT companies to focus on their business models not the enabling technology – we can do that for them. People in agriculture are not there to sit and develop, design and put together technology strategies on how to monitor soil, livestock or whatever the case is. Instead, they implement a solution. Our offerings allow these customers to focus on their core business.

A trusted partner across the IoT

Quectel is amalgamating all of the necessary elements and moving to a customer and saying: you’ve got a trusted partner and we’ve proved our worth over time. Whatever demands you’ve asked us in the past from a hardware perspective, we’ve met, so whether it be approvals in North America, or having a factory in Brazil, Quectel has met these challenges and requests from customers.

So is it a natural progression to offer IoT connectivity? I would say that definitely, one of the biggest engineering challenges many companies face is once a module vendor supplies a module, they need a SIM card to connect it to a platform, then they’ve got to deal with the mobile network operator (MNO). More often than not the MNO comes back and says no, the fault is on the module and this results in a vicious circle. So who takes ownership of the extra fault, no one, and the customer stuck in the middle.

A connectivity platform you can truly test

This next step for Quectel eliminates that broken telephone scenario and our FAEs are fully equipped with the various teams so when the customer experiences a connection problem, we can identify it as a module issue or a network issue because we have all the backend support necessary. We’ve been trialling in South Africa over the last three to six months and we have found that our support turnaround time is within 24 hours, regardless of the complexity of the of the issue.

There have been competitors that have offered IoT connectivity in the past and sadly, it has left a bit of a bad taste in some customers’ mouths. But what it is coming down to is that we’ve shown customers that we have a platform, they can evaluate it, take it to test, and it’s a no obligation test. So when you have that type of environment where you say to the customer, the proof is in the pudding, test the product, see if this is what you want. And customers are coming back and saying, this is what we’ve been looking for, it’s because they are seeing that what we’ve said it will do, it actually does. That’s why people trust Quectel and why it is a great place to work.

About the author

Mark Coxen is a senior sales manager for Quectel Wireless Solutions and is demystifying the technical aspects of cellular IoT connectivity for solutions providers as they add connectivity to the modules and antennas they buy from Quectel. The goal is to simplify IoT connectivity procurement and take away technical headaches for Quectel customers.

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