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MOBIA Technology Innovations

Building relationships over time with customers and becoming trusted advisors has become a major part of MOBIA Technology Innovations’ success over the years. We spoke with company president Rob Lane about MOBIA Technologies and why its approach has kept the team in business since 1985.

Headquartered near Halifax, NS in the town of Dartmouth, MOBIA Technologies initially started as a distributor of electronic components and by the 1990s, ultimately evolved into a system integrator.

“We started to take not just the equipment and sell it to the clients, but actually assess the client’s needs from a business and technology point of view and put together solutions for them and actually implement those solutions,” Mr. Lane explains. “Implementation means installing the equipment, testing it out, turning it on and putting it in full service for our clients.”

Today, MOBIA comprises three operations with different focuses. The Technology Services Division specializes in providing equipment installation services to operators of many types of communication networks. Some of Canada’s largest landline and wireless telecom operators are among its customers as well as healthcare facilities, mining companies, energy companies, engineering firms, universities and manufacturers. The technology services division has technicians who are trained to design and implement battery systems, DC power systems, optical transport, microwave radios, cellular systems, WLANs (wireless local area networks), IP routers and switchers, voice switchers / multiplexes, servers and storage.

MOBIA’s Information Technology Group is a specialized team that provides technical sales support, system design, implementation and post implementation support, cross platform integration (network / server / cloud), and SAP consulting solutions (SAP is a Europe based multinational software corporation that makes enterprise software to manage customer relations and business operations) for a variety of customers and applications in telecom, healthcare and enterprise IT departments.

The Information Technology Group has recently completed a network design and implementation refresh at Canada’s largest mental health facility that took two years to complete; a redesign of a wireless network for Newfoundland’s largest regional health authority to support wireless heart monitoring and other clinical devices; and SAP performance enhancement projects for customers in the aircraft manufacturing, aerospace, pharmaceutical manufacturing, electric utilities, and food manufacturing industries as well as telecom service providers and government facilities.

Finally, MOBIA’s Professional Services Group consists of people who assist telecommunication operators and IT departments. This group is certified and trained in project management, safety and quality auditing, logistics and material management, training, specialized staffing, network planning and design, implementation management, home install practices, and customer migration. Workers in this group can be hired on an hourly or contract / project basis to best determine and meet the needs of the customer.

The Professional Services Group has implemented projects such as migrating residential and business customers from one DSL (domain-specific language) platform to another for a telecom company; detailed engineering for a major cellular operator covering remote sites throughout Eastern Canada; setting up warehousing and ongoing material management for Bell Aliant’s fibre to the home (FTTH) builds throughout Atlantic Canada; as well as supervision of circuit layout and facility design for clients.

MOBIA is partnered with major IT vendors such as Hewlett-Packard to sell data centre automation, cloud service, and managed services for companies. “We help our clients build the infrastructure that delivers the services our clients provide,” Mr. Lane explains. Indeed, he is proud of the fact that MOBIA is one of the few telecom companies in the industry to provide such an extensive range of services.

“We have people who work here who are responsible for everything from network design to installation to system integration. If your end goal is to build a data centre and a network to support major applications, we are the company to come to.”

Primarily focused on installations in the healthcare and telecommunications field, Mr. Lane says that the company’s approach and ability to have an in-depth understanding about the industries in which it operates makes it a unique player in the market. “We try to become a part of our client’s business and see the world through their eyes – anticipate their needs to help them succeed. You can go to larger companies to get the same services but, as a smaller company, we can be more agile and flexible to meet the needs of our customers.”

Having this extensive industry knowledge through its clients and partners has helped the company build strong and enduring relationships with them. “Not only does it help with our clients, but with our partners,” Mr. Lane shares. “Large companies come to us because it helps them succeed in terms of merging and moving their technology into the environments and areas we serve.”

Indeed, MOBIA has completed projects in a range of industries. Some of its most recent achievements include the installation of 4G/LTE bandwidth for Bell Canada. MOBIA is also adding capacity to existing cell sites for their network in Atlantic Canada. The company has deployed a team of GIS specialists to map assets associated with Bell Aliant’s network throughout Eastern Canada.

Additional telecom projects include the rollout of Bell Aliant’s FTTH program. “This project covers six provinces in Eastern Canada and the Maritimes,” says Mr. Lane. “It covers a wide range of functions related to managing and delivering material to build the network as well as quality / safety to build the network and the Bell Aliant workforce.”

MOBIA will be working with Bell Aliant in the future in their rollout of managed services, hosting hardware and software applications. “We hope to see growth in that space; we’re helping with planning and design of these data centres, implementation, and movement of clients into the data centre.” The company has also installed microwave radio and commissioning for offshore drilling platforms. “We’ve done a lot of business for oil and gas operations in Newfoundland and hope to do more in the future,” Mr. Lane says. “We are proposing a variety of technology and communication solutions for the oil and gas industry.”

In the healthcare field, a major project of MOBIA’s was the design and implementation of wireless technology for Eastern Health – the largest healthcare provider for the Avalon Peninsula / St. John’s area of Newfoundland. The 12,000 employee company has facilities throughout the area and the company is responsible for providing network technology for their acute healthcare facilities, teaching hospital, outpatient clinics, and extended healthcare.

“This is an ongoing project and it’s very important to us and Eastern Health.” The company is building wireless networks in Eastern Health’s hospitals to integrate biomedical devices and connectivity for healthcare workers such as radiologists, doctors, and nurses.

Mr. Lane says that one challenge the company faces is in managing its growth. “Because we’re a small business, it’s always a challenge to make sure our profits support our rate of growth. There’s lots of demand for what we do, but it wouldn’t be good to grow in an uncontrolled manner.

“We follow ISO 9000 quality assurance standards, and we’ve recently hired a fulltime quality manager. Part of his role is to build stronger processes to deliver work to our clients. Over time, we’ll have an advantage in the marketplace by implementing this. We have a lot of pride in our company and what we’ve delivered, so we’re always looking to deliver efficiently and run smoothly.”

The guiding principles and values of MOBIA Technology are another reason why its relationships with clients and partners have been so successful. “From a corporate point of view, we operate with four key values: honesty, integrity, caring, and tenacity,” Mr. Lane explains. “Caring is a big key value in our company – really caring about fellow employees, company, customers, and vendor partners and the community that we live and work in. We needed tenacity to survive as a small company.”

MOBIA Technology Innovations demonstrates this dedication to caring about communities by donating to United Way in Dartmouth and Calgary. “One of the nice things about United Way is that we get to contribute back to the community we work and live in,” says Mr. Lane. The company also recently participated in raising money to help the flood victims in Southern Alberta, which suffered from massive flooding this summer.

For over twenty-five years, MOBIA Technology Innovations has established and built relationships with a variety of clients. Having an understanding of how these companies work and function has been an essential part of the company’s success. Rob Lane sums it up by saying, “We are definitely looking to grow our business in the telecom and healthcare space across the country for years to come.”

February 19, 2020, 12:18 AM EST