L3Harris Celebrates First Anniversary of Mission-Critical Alliance
Thursday, August 20, 2020 | Comments
L3Harris and its partners celebrated the first anniversary of its Mission Critical Alliance (MCA). L3Harris formed the alliance with 13 partners last year to create an ecosystem focused on furthering collaboration on technology for critical responders.

L3Harris had worked with many of the companies involved in the MCA prior, but in establishing the alliance wanted to create a formal environment in which it and “the best of best” in the industry could collaborate and integrate their technologies to better serve critical communications users, said James Potter, senior manager of strategic partnerships for L3Harris.

“For the engineers in the room, we are here to solve a simple mathematical problem: 1+1=3,” Potter said during a webinar L3Harris hosted to celebrate the anniversary. “How do we add more value by working together?”

Initial members of the alliance were Adashi Systems, Centerity Systems, Cradlepoint, Drakontas, Exacom, GE Power, MCM Technology, Real Wear, Samsung Electronics America, Tait Communications, TRX Systems, Vintra and Zetron. During its first year, FirstNet, built with AT&T, and Tyler Technologies joined the alliance as well.

“You have used a best-in-class approach that is very unique,” Exacom Marketing Manager Hannah Slaven said during the webinar. “I like that instead of buying other companies, L3Harris is building a community.”

One of the key focuses of the MCA in its first year was creating innovative, integrated products that first responders cannot find anywhere else.

“The customer isn’t a system integrator, and they’re looking for choices in the market,” Potter said.

At the start of this year, the members of the MCA spent several days in San Antonio at a summit as a way to get to know each other and begin brainstorming ideas on integration. There, the members engaged in what Potter described as speed dating events as a way to get to know the other companies and begin looking at ways in which their products could be integrated.

“The forum is an ideal situation,” said Michael Braverman, director of North America Sales for Centerity, which was the first MCA member to begin creating integrations with other members. “With MCA, we can share goals, our test facilities and even QA our joint solutions.”

That collaboration got the juices flowing and proved important as shortly after, the COVID-19 pandemic set in, making in-person collaboration more difficult. While the pandemic limited in-person collaboration, it has not slowed down the work of the MCA, Potter said.

The members of the alliance continued to collaborate and work with each other through phone discussions and remote testing.

“There have been changes made, but this is the world we live in, and we’re making it work,” said Potter.

The members of the alliance have begun releasing integrated products and L3Harris is releasing its first collaboration from the group: an integration of Live Earth data platform through L3Harris’ VidaCore network core. The integration enhances the situational awareness of L3Harris radio and PTT users by providing a data map layer that can display a variety of different data for first responders.

Over the next year, L3Harris expects to see membership in the MCA double as it begins to welcome more partners into the alliance. Potter said that there are number of companies that have applied to join the alliance. As L3Harris looks at expanding the MCA, it wants to ensure that it is adding the correct members and that every member adds value to the program overall and furthers its purpose of promoting innovation and integration.

“We may have to deny some companies,” Potter said. “If we can’t derive value working together, we might resell their product, but they’re not a member of the MCA.” L3Harris’ long-term vision for the alliance is to see it become a stand-alone association that promotes technology and innovation, like the LoRa Alliance or the Project 25 Technology Interest Group, Potter said.

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