YOU ARE AT:Archived ArticlesYOUNG ENTREPRENEURS TAKE ON PCS MARKET WITH CONSULTING FIRM

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS TAKE ON PCS MARKET WITH CONSULTING FIRM

At 29, Kashif Hassan is the president of Wyrex Communications Inc., a small Toronto-based wireless consulting company with a clientele including some of the biggest players in the U.S. personal communications services market.

As the framework for PCS developed, Hassan-an electrical engineer and veteran of Rogers Cantel Inc. and TeleZone Corp.-recognized the number of licenses on the block and expected competition with cellular would create a great demand for resources in PCS.

“The demand for people with experience is tremendous right now,” said Hassan. Wyrex’ associates work in teams with carriers and third-party vendors to integrate various “black boxes” or adjunct functions into the network. The vendors that provide a system to a carrier “may not understand all the issues,” explained Hassan.

The staff consists mostly of trained engineers, but skill sets vary and are broad. The company works heavily to integrate billing, customer care and call center functions as well as voice mail services, but also understands network functions.

“There hasn’t been one person I have put out on contract that hasn’t had multiple job offers,” said Hassan.

Wyrex takes both vendors and carriers as clients. In any project, a Wyrex “rapid deployment team” is sent on-site and “takes ownership of an entire project,” said the company. For a vendor client, the team might first become proficient with a product prior to its role in integrating it onto the network. Another project may require Wyrex to educate a carrier about a certain system. The timeframe on projects varies usually between three months and a year, said Hassan. Once completed, the team provides documentation and necessary training.

“We know we are not there for the long run. When we leave we don’t want to leave the client hanging,” said Hassan. “In the hand off, we make sure the new people are up to speed.”

Hassan and Ian Collins, vice president of corporate development, launched Wyrex full scale about a year- and-a-half ago. Collins is a civil engineer and businessman who started in wireless at Cantel, then went to TeleZone, where a handful of people from Wyrex’ staff of 16 previously worked.

The whole staff has previous experience in the wireless communications industry and most worked for one of Canada’s cellular operators through the days of network construction.

“We are young. We are entrepreneurial. We are ready to take the world,” said Hassan.

For its client American Personal Communications of Washington, D.C., Wyrex integrated a voice mail system. The company is working for Sprint Spectrum L.P. to integrate a Cincinnati Bell Information Systems billing platform.

Most recently, Wyrex finalized an alliance with Objective Systems Integrators, a company whose software simplifies network integration and management using object-oriented modeling of networks and business process.

Wyrex will help implement OSI’s software, including its NetExpert product, with OSI’s clients.

To date, Wyrex business is conducted only in the United States because there is more opportunity with so many new operators, explained Hassan.

In Canada, only four nationwide PCS licenses were awarded, two of which went to entrenched cellular operators.

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