The managing directors talk about the challenges of the market and how their shared customers benefit from the merger of these two companies. The new PDS Group has ultimately become the largest German mobile IT solution provider in transport/logistics, retail, field service, and production.
ident: What brought about the partnership of PDS and TCG?
Zitzmann: PDS has been very successful as an independent supplier of handheld devices and a provider and integrator of customized software for mobile data recording for decades. Our customers include logistics giants like Hermes Logistik and DPD and large industrial enterprises like Tetra Pak and RWE. Now we want to take our success to other target markets, especially retail. TCG is the perfect partner for accelerating our growth. They have an established customer base and technologies that complement our range of services and products in an ideal way.
Taneri: We simply fit together perfectly. While PDS has a strong position in transport/logistics, production, and field service, we have top retail customers, primarily from the food industry and wholesale sector. Our strength lies in Wi-Fi technology. With wireless communication, retailers not only coordinate their logistics with more flexibility, but also generate more sales with end customers on the shop floor. Michael Zitzmann and I have known each other for years, so partnering in business was an easy decision.
ident: What will change for customers?
Taneri: At first glance, nothing. Every location, whether in Cologne or Norderstedt, remains the number one contact for customers.
Zitzmann: But our customers will quickly see that we can now offer them so much more, specifically all of the support for the entire life cycle of their mobile IT devices under one roof.
ident: What does the “entire life cycle” cover, in your mind?
Zitzmann: We – PDS and TCG – advise our customers from the very start. We provide neutral support, regardless of manufacturer, in selecting the right technology in terms of hardware and software and manage the complete roll-out of the devices reliably. For large-scale customers, this means providing over 10,000 ready-to-use devices in less than three months. Afterward, we provide complete life cycle management with service and further advice.
ident: Let’s talk about life cycle management. What makes it so important for the success of mobile IT?
Zitzmann: Intelligent life cycle management is the future. Companies invest enormously in hardware and software in this field – and they want to retain that value. We developed our own Web-based repair and asset management solution for this purpose, the WSP Web Service Portal, which our customers can use to watch their inventory of handheld devices in real time and combine with mobile device management to evaluate the status of their mobile solution in the long term with transparent monitoring. By analyzing this big data intelligently, we are working together with the customer to come up with suggestions for upcoming investments like batteries or software.
ident: What challenges in the market do you see in the future?
Taneri: In the hardware sector, the market has consolidated strongly in recent years. As an independent consultant, we see our task as providing comprehensive advice to customers when it comes to individually selecting the right provider and the best hardware for them. And, of course, selecting the right IT infrastructure.
Zitzmann: In mobile IT there is a great need for advice when it comes to “bringing your own device.” In some fields of application, this approach is inefficient or simply too expensive, but in other cases it is a real option. We provide the right solution in terms of managing this heterogeneous mass of consumer devices intelligently in mobile device management.
You can also view the ident interview as a PDF.
ident, issue 2/2015 “Intelligentes Life-Cycle-Management ist die Zukunft”