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“Our motto: Right features, Right time, Right price”

Apr 2009 | Comments Off on “Our motto: Right features, Right time, Right price”

An interview with François Erceau, Vice President and General Manager, Magellan Professional on Magellan’s products and technologies

François Erceau

Vice President and General Manager Magellan.


Magellan has had a strong product development history and there are a number of ‘firsts’ in hand held GPS associated with the brand,in the current economic scenario how does the company view its product development strategy?

Magellan Professional is a value leader in the GNSS positioning industry. The current economic conditions confirm our approach. Our product development strategy is driven by a simple and efficient motto: Right features, Right time, Right price. Today Magellan’s innovative spirit clearly shows in our hardware design, ease of use and the technology benefits of our products. In difficult times people look for more value, and that is exactly what Magellan provides.

Magellan has established itself as a GPS/GLONASS product, what about compatibility with other up coming GNS systems like Galileo?

Magellan Professional has always sought to provide technology when it’s of value to the user and not before. We don’t play a marketing game that pressures the user to pay for a technology that is not valuable today. By 2013 when Galileo becomes fully operational, many of today’s GNSS receivers, given their average life span of 5 years, will be obsolete. We will market Galileo receivers only when this capability can provide real benefit, not just promised benefit.

Magellan has global locations to serve its global customers, but which region has seen the maximum growth for your products in the last one year and which region do you think will lead the growth in the use of this technology in the coming year?

Last year we saw growth in all regions, but more growth in the developing countries. In 2009, given the current economic scenario, we anticipate flat sales in the US and Europe and increasing sales in the developing countries where our value proposition is especially interesting.

Recently the concerns for having a ‘backup’ to GPS have gained momentum, what are your views on this?

This is not a new concern; it has been an issue since the beginning of satellite navigation. It is the reason that Receiver Autonomous Integrity Monitoring (RAIM) was invented and is used in aeronautical applications, and the reason why the coastal authorities install differential GPS systems with integrity monitoring. Our BLADE™ technology is constantly monitoring each individual satellite measurement and can tell when any measurement has become degraded and is unusable. Of course the entire system can be jammed, in which case it is unusable, but this is not expected to happen except during acts of war or terror.

A rethink in strategy has been required by almost everybody in 2009, has Magellan also needed this rethink?

The current economic conditions mean that our competitors, who have a large infrastructure to support, are having a very difficult time, leading to store closings and lay offs. Our organisation is already shaped for tough times, with its effective operations, a strong dealer network, “Our motto: Right features, Right time, Right price” An interview with François Erceau, Vice President and General Manager, Magellan Professional on Magellan’s products and technologies 12 | April 2009 a culture of resource optimisation and a driving spirit that accepts challenge. Our motto remains the same for 2009, Right features, Right time, Right price. Our price to performance ratio is more competitive than ever. This value strategy is essential for an emerging player like Magellan Professional, and it’s perfect for rough economic times.


Robert Snow, Marketing Director Magellan Professional (left) and Randy Noland, VP, Marketing Carlson Software during the announcement of their partnership

Which application do you think will contribute most to the expansion in the use of GNSS technology in the coming years?

We limit ourselves to professional applications, so I will not speak about consumer applications. We see machine guidance and control as the fastest growing professional market, which is why we recently teamed with Carlson Software to more actively pursue this market.

Please elaborate on the how Magellan BLADE™ technology helps to set the Magellan products apart from other others?

BLADE encompasses all our techniques used for signal processing and Position Velocity Time calculations. It includes our patented technique for using GLONASS measurements to enhance the GPS-derived solution and the automatic GLONASS bias determinations we make. BLADE sets Magellan products apart from others in many ways. Here are three of the key differentiators:
• It makes all the checks and preparations needed to mitigate any negative effects of GLONASS signal instabilities. The result is more reliable measurement processing and usage than with competing boards or GNSS receiver offerings.
• It can work with the GLONASS measurements from any manufacturer’s base station. This is often not the case with other brands.
• It also uses the ranging measurements from SBAS satellites (as opposed to the Ionospheric model data that is transmitted by these satellites), allowing us to perform RTK with an L1 GPS+SBAS receiver, such as our ProMark™ 3 or DG14.



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