The Rogers Wireless Innovation Centre opens for business in Vancouver

The Rogers Wireless Innovation Centre Opens for Business in Vancouver

Mansell Nelson, right, Vice President M2M for Rogers Communications, and James Maynard, President and CEO of Wavefront

At the beginning of this year we shared that Rogers and Wavefront planned to partner on various machine to machine (M2M) initiatives and open a Wireless Innovation Centre (WIC).  Located within Wavefront’s Vancouver headquarters, the Rogers WIC is now officially open for business.

The Vancouver WIC is the second of its kind in Canada and like its counterpart in Montreal, showcases the best in advanced business solutions Rogers has to offer.  Now, British Columbia based business customers and application developers alike can experience first-hand how M2M technology can change the way they do business.

We spoke with Mansell Nelson, Vice President M2M for Rogers Communications, and James Maynard, President and CEO of Wavefront, to find out what the opening of the WIC means to them and the M2M industry:

What is the partnership with Rogers and Wavefront and what exciting things can we expect from the M2M community because of it? 

James Maynard:  Being partnered with Rogers, Canada’s largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services, is truly exciting for Wavefront.  Rogers is an M2M industry leader and we’re delighted to be working together to support Canadian application developers and to advance the wireless industry in Canada and abroad.

The Rogers Wavefront partnership includes providing SMEs with access to valuable resources at the Wireless Innovation Centre that would not normally be available to them, as well as access to Rogers’ international reach and relationships.  Canadian wireless companies can now display their innovative solutions both locally and globally much more quickly and effectively.

In addition to the Rogers Wireless Innovation Centre, we are also working together on the Rogers Wavefront Innovation Mentorship program.  This national initiative pairs early-stage wireless technology companies from across Canada with experienced technology and business professionals from Rogers and Wavefront.

Mansell Nelson:  Ours is acollaborative partnership that aims to strengthen the wireless developer ecosystem in Canada.  With a specific focus on M2M and advanced mobility, Rogers and Wavefront will provide selected entrepreneurial technology developers with comprehensive support and business mentorship, to position them for long-term success.

What tools and solutions showcased in the Vancouver WIC are you most excited about for enterprise customers and why?

MN:  The Critical Network Access demonstration, which shows both a primary and a complete wireless backup solution, is something that we are extremely proud to have featured in our WIC.  Wireless failover is something that is applicable to almost any type of business and, with the help of Colony Networks, we demonstrate how quickly and easily Rogers can keep any critical network up and running during situations such as a loss of power, or damage to a wireline connection.

JM:  We are very excited that Colony Networks, one of Wavefront’s tenant companies, is partnered with Rogers to deliver business critical applications.  Colony’s fully managed M2M solution, delivered in partnership with Rogers, enables the deployment of primary and backup wireline replacement connections anywhere Rogers has coverage.

Tell us about a customer that’s using M2M technology in an innovative way.   What can our readers learn from them?

MN:  One of the most unique experiences that we have been a part of this year, are the Coca-Cola Freestyle machines found in various locations throughout the GTA.  Our M2M solution provides Coca-Cola with wireless data connectivity to remotely manage inventory levels, troubleshoot the system when needed, and dispatch technicians for maintenance calls if necessary.  In addition, the machines track and wirelessly transmit daily beverage preferences, consumption per region, and real-time customer feedback – ultimately allowing Coca-Cola to provide an innovative customer experience.

JM:  We are delighted that Colony Networks’ software is currently being used by several recognized brands, including Best Buy Canada.  Together with Rogers’ M2M group, Colony Networks is delivering advanced site survey, monitoring and managed network services to Best Buy Canada.  With Colony’s solution, Best Buy has saved numerous troubleshooting hours by being able to quickly identify when and where an issue has occurred (i.e. network, device or application), and engage the appropriate party to remedy the issue more efficiently.

What advice can you provide for abusiness considering an M2M solution?

JM:  M2M wireless is a transformative technology that is changing every sector of our economy, providing greater visibility to critical data and streamlining and automating the operations of businesses.  Wavefront can help enterprise customers find the right M2M solution in a variety of ways, including giving them access to critical resources and linkages in the Wavefront Community (sign up at and through our M2M Accelerator Program.

In conjunction with Sierra Wireless& Rogers, Wavefront’s M2M Accelerator Program is a first for Canada.  The program facilitates innovation and accelerates commercialization for businesses and technologies in the M2M space by assisting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to conceive and commercially launch products and services in the M2M market.

MN:  You need a key stakeholder within the organization to own the outcome, someone who sees the value of the investment.  It is important to understand the problem you’re trying to solve before you start thinking about devices, hardware, etc.  Try to invest time in an ROI session with your solution provider before you start – Rogers, as an example, can provide mobility assessments, ROI analysis and hands-on deployment services.  Lastly, research best practices around the world.  M2M is all around us, and you can gain valuable insights from what has already been developed.

Melissa is a regular contributor to RedBoard Biz

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