MOBIA Technology Innovations: Trusted leadership and technical expertise
By: Jesse Champagne

First established in 1985, MOBIA Technology Innovations has grown from a small, Halifax-based, family-owned business into a powerful and experienced team of professionals situated in regional offices across all of Canada. As a result of their unremitting reliability and proven expertise, MOBIA has forged long-lasting relationships with several of Canada’s leading companies and organizations in the telecommunications, healthcare, energy and industrial sectors. Their close working relationships with industry technology partners have ensured that the latest innovations are used to improve the lives of all Canadians.

Rob Lane first joined the company over 25 years ago, and in 2001 he became the President, and sole owner of the company in 2011. Through his guidance, MOBIA has developed a hard-working and dedicated team of employees who use their advanced technical knowledge and expertise to benefit customers throughout Canada. We recently spoke with Rob and asked him how he has made MOBIA stand out from other companies in the market.

I think that it’s our culture. I think that there are lots of companies that can do what we do. I don’t think we’re tremendously unique—it’s not like we are developing unique intellectual property—but we have four core values that we live through very strictly. It’s a bit like a family really. Our core values are: Honesty and Integrity, Caring, Humility, and Tenacity. These four core values are at the heart of all of our decision-making and everything we do—how we conduct ourselves, how we operate our business, how we work with our partners, how we work with our customers, and how are employees behave with each other and everyone else they interact with.”

MOBIA’s key strength is their people. They currently employ over 135 communications and information technology professionals, and they invest heavily in the development of their employees in order to provide trusted leadership and technical expertise.

“One of our goals—a very important goal—is to make our company an amazing place to work. I think we’re a good company to work for, but I think we have lots of things we could get better at. That’s certainly one of my lifelong goals; to make our company an amazing place to work for. We survey our employees to ask what we are doing well and not well and how we can get better. The biggest reward I could ever receive would be for all my employees to say that they love coming into work every day. If you truly care about the people in your organization, this is the biggest reward of all.”

Having forged relationships with several of the country’s top training institutions, MOBIA invests heavily in apprenticeship and mentoring programs to ensure that their team of young professionals realizes their maximum potential.

You almost have to develop the required skills and knowledge in house. It would be difficult to go to the street and find people with that experience. On the job training and mentorships are very important.”

MOBIA specializes in three very distinct areas: telecommunications, healthcare, and energy. First and foremost is their work in telecommunications, which Rob considers an “ever-changing industry.”

“In the traditional sense of telecommunications, people think about data circuits and telephone conversations, but of course that whole marketplace is shifting into so much more. It’s an exciting industry, from our perspective, in that we are very much a part of the legacy of telecommunications and telecommunication service providers… One of the things we are also very proud of right now is our contract with Bell Mobility. We are responsible for integrating the electronics in all their existing and new cell sites, and we’re responsible for all of Eastern Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada. That’s quite a fantastic contract for us and we’re very proud to have it… We’re also working very hard and very fast at developing new service offerings in our business that will help these telecommunication service providers transform their businesses into what they want to become… MOBIA is proud to be a part of helping these service providers in that space.”

On the health care side, MOBIA has completed several major projects, including work for the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie, ON, and CAMH in Toronto, Canada’s largest mental health facility.

That being said, things are “a little bit different” in the health care industry compared to telecommunications. “We’re a little more focused on things like mobility, so we work very closely with our customers in the health care space helping them design and build very reliable wireless networks that enable mobility in the health care space. If you think about health care today, there are a lot of intelligent biomedical devices, so there is a lot of machine-to-machine communication going on, and these machines are quite often mobile—they move them from room to room all over the hospital—and they want these devices to be mobile and stay connected to the network at all times because they are retrieving and sharing critical information. A big part of what we do is designing and building very reliable networks so that these devices can stay connected at all times. People’s lives depend on it.”

Last, but certainly not least, is MOBIA’s work in the energy sector, primarily in the oil and gas industry. While he refers to his company as the “new kid on the block,” Rob is confident that they will use their experience in both healthcare and telecommunication to grow and gain new projects and new opportunities in the highly competitive energy industry.

“At this point, we are a bit of a newcomer to the industry, so one of the challenges is meeting the right people and finding the right opportunities… The flow of information is a little bit different than some other verticals we’ve worked in [but] we’re doing it and learning it and getting better as we go along…. We have a toehold right now in the Newfoundland oil & gas  sector and we have a well-established office in Calgary with 15 technicians, and we’re certainly looking to find our way into the oil & gas sector in Alberta and possibly Saskatchewan. We are looking to expand our customer base and our service offerings. I believe we have a lot to offer.”

Collectively, the innovative people, product technologies, professional services and industry partnerships have helped MOBIA to become an industry leader and drive success — both theirs and, perhaps more importantly, your own.