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Network Services and Telecommunications Services for Government Applications
Abdul H. Rana
President & CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
Published – May 18, 2020
CEOCFO: Mr. Rana, what is the idea behind ZQEdge Corporation?
Mr. Rana: ZQEdge provides professional services in network services, telecommunications and satellite communication.
CEOCFO: Who are your typical customers? What is the range that you cover?
Mr. Rana: The typical customers are other system integrators who provide services to the US government.
CEOCFO: Do you do work directly with the government agencies?
Mr. Rana: It is mostly through some other system integrators, although there is some activity direct with the US government. I have personally had a lot of experience working with the US Department of Defense. I now have some activities, and I am trying to get more direct with the US government.
CEOCFO: What do you understand about some of the challenges working with the government?
Mr. Rana: It is a lot of work! It is an expensive bidding process, especially for the small businesses. It is quite a bit of expense and effort.
CEOCFO: How do you provide your service? What might you be called upon to do for a client? How do you come up with a solution or service that is best for your client?
Mr. Rana: One is to help with the business development, capture and proposals, providing the total end to end solutions. Another area is the information assurance. Another area is providing professional services and staffing for the network services, network operation centers, also helping the other system integrators to build network operation and monitoring systems and also helping with their network services, typically for the US government.
CEOCFO: When you are working with a prospective customer and coming up with a solution, what do you look at that perhaps others do not recognize is important?
Mr. Rana: It is the relationship. We have relationships throughout the world. I personally have relationships with many other telecommunication carriers and satellite operators. Therefore, based on that knowledge of where to get the appropriate components for the solutions, we build the solution that will be the best, both from the cost point of view and also the value to the US government.
CEOCFO: What, if anything, has changed for you in the COVID environment today?
Mr. Rana: It is the limited interaction with the customers. Right now it is limited to working remotely, so right now most of the activities are either on the telephone or through email or over video conferences.
CEOCFO: Is that easy to adapt for you? Are there particular challenges in what you are doing that makes it a little bit harder or a little bit easier?
Mr. Rana: Right now, yes of course it is difficult, because it is being done remotely and without personal interaction. Therefore yes, it is more difficult.
CEOCFO: What is new in telecommunications?
Mr. Rana: New trends in telecommunications are software defined networks and more bandwidth.
CEOCFO: You mentioned wanting to be more involved directly with the government. Why now?
Mr. Rana: We are happy with what we are doing today with some excellent clients, but for diversification and growth, our objective is to get direct contracts with the US government.
CEOCFO: Why did you decide this was the time to change your focus or to add to your focus?
Mr. Rana: This is natural next step and perhaps also the way to be of more value to our clients.
CEOCFO: How is business?
Mr. Rana: Business is okay. It has been stable. I would like to see it grow.
CEOCFO: Are there areas of your business that you would like to see expand and grow?
Mr. Rana: Some of the activities that we would like to expand more into is to use GSA schedule, working as a team to acquire new contracts, working on a subcontract basis and be able to provide a significant amount of work and value. For example, if it is a contact with the US government, we would take a certain portion of the subcontract. That is another area that I would like to see us expand more.
CEOCFO: What do you look for in your people? What is important for you?
Mr. Rana: That they can really get the job done. There it is. That is really the bottom line.
CEOCFO: What are some of the advantages of having a global reach? Do you find it helps you understand maybe situations that you would not have otherwise?
Mr. Rana: The US government, specifically the Department of Defense, have the global reach. They are where the hot points are, so it is very, very important that we be able to provide these services wherever the US Department of Defense or other US government agencies need those services.
CEOCFO: How do you decide what you might bid on or what you might be part of, either as a sub-
Mr. Rana: Yes, it will be in this area that we are working in, in the network services and telecommunication, in satellite communications and in information assurance.
CEOCFO: Are there new products and new services that are available today that you would need to incorporate or is there constant change in equipment?
Mr. Rana: It is constant change. That is why you keep a relationship with the other carriers and operators. Those large entities have the resources for new products and services.
CEOCFO: How do you craft a solution when there may be a limited budget?
Mr. Rana: It is really knowing what the requirements in government RFPs. Understanding those requirements and coming up with a solution that will be better than other competitors who will be bidding, both in terms of the quality of the solution and the cost. Most of the challenges are really as you said it; the time available and the resources available. However, we try to do the best with whatever is available.
CEOCFO: Are you able to ramp up, should a number of projects come your way at the same time?
Mr. Rana: Yes, very much so! We have demonstrated that very well.
CEOCFO: Do you do much outreach for potential clients or potential partners? How do you reach people that may not know about you right now?
Mr. Rana: Mostly the personal relationships or meeting people at other conferences or through the good word from the others who have worked with us.
CEOCFO: There are many companies to look at. Why pay attention to ZQedge? What sets your company apart from others?
Mr. Rana: It is a very efficient small business; very agile.
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“Through several diverse communications platforms, ZQedge leverages its expertise across telecommunication, satellite, terrestrial and wireless technologies to deliver best-