FEATURES - Cover Story
June 08, 2015

HDG Steps into the Spotlight: CEO Rod Hilton Explains How and Why

Rod Hilton has a long history of working in the wireless arena. The HDG Inc. president and CEO started in the wireless industry back in 1985, working with Motorola’s wireless data radio network, which provided private wireless network services to allow backend business systems to be accessed by the field service workforce. Five years later he was recruited to run the operations center of ARDIS, a joint venture of IBM and Motorola. He went on to manage the group that was tasked with building the middleware to connect enterprise business systems to the ARDIS wireless network.

In 1995, Hilton left ARDIS to start HDG and focus on developing industry-leading wireless solutions. HDG got its start in consulting, software development, and system architecture for wireless field service applications; by 1999 HDG had built a commercial gateway to access Internet email on wireless devices; and the company has continued to evolve along with the industry.

IoT Evolution magazine recently interviewed Hilton to learn more about him and his business HDG, which is just now transitioning from a behind-the-scenes IoT and M2M player to taking a leading role.

For those not familiar with HDG, what does the company sell to whom?

Hilton: HDG is very versatile in what we are able to provide, and the business is really a culmination of categorized functions. Our customers range from large corporations to small businesses. Our managed solutions segment is focused on providing customers and their users with an easily implemented and deployed solution. HDG’s customers can benefit from our experience and partnerships to alleviate the stress of deploying solutions on their own. HDG also does custom solution development.

The heart and soul of HDG is software development, and we have many customers who want to perform a very specific and detailed business process. In these scenarios, HDG can leverage our middleware engine to integrate a variety of standard features into a custom solution.

What are your big initiatives at the company?

Hilton: I have always believed that our customers have a specific business need, and that really drives what we produce and how we operate. For example, we build automation into our systems to make the process even simpler for anyone using them. Our more specific initiatives include expanding our managed solutions division to provide our customers with more capabilities as their business needs change and grow. We are also focused on debuting our standard solution to address the needs of smaller customers, and customers who don’t have the resources to build their own system.

Another very large initiative at HDG is the development of more intelligent solutions – solutions that allow the user to get more benefit and spend less time actively engaged with the solution interface.

What kind of results have you seen so far?

Hilton: We have seen a tremendous positive response to the managed solutions section. It’s something that the industry needs; and we are able to fulfill that need. We have also seen a similar response to solution automation and intelligence.

What are your goals and targets further afield?

Hilton: The overarching vision for HDG is to continually innovate and expand the current offerings to provide these benefits to additional industry segments. Most importantly is the deployment of more autonomous and intelligent solutions to escalate the business functionality of the IoT and M2M industry.

How do these goals address what’s happening in the marketplace?

Hilton: We are more than capable of meeting today’s market needs, but our focus is on constant progression and innovation of our technology to be in front of market needs.

What excites you most about your job?

Hilton: I get to constantly reinvent HDG and adapt to the current needs of the IoT industry; the growth of the market within the past few years is also very exciting.

What do you find most interesting about what’s going on in the industry in which HDG is a player?

Hilton: I’ve found that most customers are looking for a provider that can deliver the whole solution. With the help of our partners, HDG has made it possible to offer customers the whole solution.

How would you describe your management style?

Hilton: Empowering; I exercise a peer-level management style. I try to be very encouraging and push my team to this outside of the box and strive to make initiatives based on their perceptions of where HDG can improve.

When you’re not working, how do you spend your time?

Hilton: I enjoy golfing, weather permitting, and spending time at the shooting range. I also enjoy just being with my family.

How do your personal interests reflect your management style and who you are?

Hilton: I truly enjoy expanding my abilities and challenging myself on every level. That carries over into my career.

If there’s just one thing you want people to know about your company, what is that one thing?

Hilton: Much of the work that we have done in IoT and M2M has been behind the scenes; our primary focus has been on our extensive set of technology that can enable wireless solutions in many different markets. However, the time in the market is right for HDG to expand beyond that. Until now, HDG has been an iceberg in the market, our abilities and offerings have been sitting below the surface and little has been exposed to the public. HDG is stepping into the spotlight and revealing what we can do.

To learn more about HDG and how it can help you with your IoT implementation, visit www.hdgmobile.com.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

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