Sunday, January 23, 2011

Should you use a consultant for communications system planning?

As 2012 rapidly approaches, public safety users are being bombarded with contradicting information on upgrading to narrow band interoperable communications.  We received a Request for Proposal (RFP) the other day for a countywide P25 radio system.  They weren’t sure whether they wanted UHF or 800 MHz.  They thought they wanted trunking but no mention was made of whether they had FCC licenses, necessary locations, or even the budget to pay for the system.

This prospective user was attempting to make a multi-million dollar decision based on the “best” vendor proposal.  The fact is that no vendor could properly respond to such as request.  Further, by limiting the technology options, this user was restricting alternate technologies which may be better, more efficient, and less expensive.  This is not an uncommon occurrence.  Clearly, there has to be a better way of achieving the objective of building a wide area interoperable network.

To many, the word Consultant has a negative connotation, but the fact is that a good consulting agreement can typically save up to 20% of the cost of a new communications system designed by a single supplier.  A Consultant can review all available technology, vendors, and capabilities without bias.  A Consultant can assist in the areas of site selection, FCC licensing, funding, installation, and on-going services.

As the CEO of Falcon Direct, I have personally been called upon for consulting services, both in the USA and internationally.  My services are available to you as well.  Naturally, in a consulting role, I automatically exclude my company as a prospective vendor.  This assures that I will be working for you and not for others.

If you would like to know more about our consulting services, just give me a call at 205.422.2011 or email  You could be in for a very pleasant surprise!  Burch Falkner.