Tait and Harris Corporations Announce Strategic Partnership

25 Aug 2016

Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications and New Zealand-based Tait Communications today announced a strategic partnership that unites both manufacturers’ sales channels in North America within the Harris organization and provides those dealers with the ability to sell radio solutions and applications developed by both companies.

“All of the dealers that were selling Tait will come over to our dealer channel and become a member of the Harris dealer family,” Chris Young, president of Harris Communications Systems, said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “That’s an exciting part, because it is close to doubling the size of our dealer footprint. We will have an opportunity to exclusively sell all of Tait’s products in the North American market. It’s a great agreement, I think, for both sides … Tait has great products that are synergistic to us, as opposed to overlap.”

Legacy Tait dealers will be able to sell Harris products, including high-end P25 subscriber devices and trunked P25 systems, Young said. In contrast, Harris dealers will be able to Tait offering, including the company’s conventional-P25 and DMR offerings, he said.

“Now, they [Harris and legacy Tait dealers] have a full portfolio of products that address all of the tiers of the public-safety market, as well as the utility market, the transportation market and other markets,” Young said. “For both legacy Harris dealers and legacy Tait dealers, they get more than they had before to sell into the public-safety and other markets.”

Harris dealers will gain access to Tait’s DMR equipment as a Harris winds down its Momentum-branded DMR radios that are manufactured by Hytera. The Harris-Hytera DMR arrangement is “coming to what I would call a natural close at the end of the year,” Young said.

Tait Communications CEO Garry Diack expressed optimism about the deal. “One of the things that we’ve always struggled with in the U.S. is market share,” Diack said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We’re small, and this relationship allows our products—which we’re proud of and think are pretty good—to get to a far greater range of opportunity and hopefully a much deeper level of penetration. On that basis, it [the agreement] has got growth written all over it, for us.”

Officials for Harris and Tait noted that the agreement applies only to the companies’ initiatives in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. In addition, the deal addresses only product sales and distribution, so the manufacturing and engineering aspects of the companies will remain the same.

Within North America, Harris will spearhead the marketing effort for both Harris and Tait, according to Lori Thompson, vice president and business development for Harris. “We’ll become the North American face for Tait,” Thompson said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “So, look for most of Tait marketing to be through the Harris channel. In fact, we’re going to co-brand the products here, so they’ll labeled ‘Harris powered by Tait’ or something of that sort, and we’ll take on the predominant public face [in North America].”

Diack echoed this sentiment. “Not only for us but I think for Harris, it’s pretty exciting that we can bring together a piece of the provider market that gives great opportunity for everybody. The way we view this internally is that Tait is like the ‘Intel Inside’ of Microsoft. We’ll be a piece of technology inside Harris. That’s the way we’d like to position ourselves in the future and … be relevant in the industry on that basis.

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