We sat down with Enterprise UAS’ newly appointed Executive Vice President, Randall Warnas, to discuss his new role, the state of the industry, and what we can expect in the near future.
DSLRPros: With your extensive background working for some of the largest OEMs in the drone industry, why make the switch now to the distributor side?
Randall: Yeah, so I think that over the past seven years, I've represented a singular brand with a singular focus on technology. And what I've found is that there are so many good things in the drone space that are not being addressed in a way that is very public facing and allows me to evangelize for what I think is the best product for the best industry or the best individual. Coming to the value added reseller side really allows me to put myself in front of all the brands that I find that we, as a company, find valuable and evangelize for them individually. To not be sold to one brand and not be focused on driving revenue only for one type of thing, but to really try to proliferate drones across the board.
DSLRPros: What are some of the things you're looking to accomplish at DSLRPros in the coming months?
Randall: I think that the visibility of the value added reseller is not always the most prominent when we talk about the drone industry. I think that when you have that face-to-face or that one-on-one interaction with the user, you have a great opportunity to first understand their needs and their pain points and resolve them in a way that allows them to be successful with their purchases and their investment in the drone industry or in a particular drone technology.
It also lets you take that information back to manufacturers to help them or enable them to make the technology that actually makes a difference. You're able to then help these companies; whether it's a software developer or a hardware manufacturer, to make the decisions of what really enables our customers. A lot of times they're not selling direct. They're not even interacting with those end-users very often. I think over the past eight years for myself and 10 years for the DSLRPros brand, working with these customers face to face, we're able to really extract some of that information and build clospser relationships not only with our customers, but with our vendors as well.
DSLRPros: Why do you think customers choose DSLRPros over any other drone dealer?
Randall: DSLRPros has a 10 year legacy in which we have maintained customer satisfaction during that entire time. We pride ourselves on making sure that our customers are taken care of and taken care of well.
In a growing digital world, we're finding ways to provide solutions to people so that they know what they're getting themselves into. They know how to use the technology in the right way and that we're there to support them along the way.
I also think that because of this value added reseller group's being less visible, I want to be able to be that kind of public presence where you're out in the drone world with drone skeptics and drone critics; and come back with a shining endorsement from your peers that are in the drone industry.
I think that will only help elevate the DSLRPros brand, which has a sterling reputation already, but has always been focused on delivering to the customers rather than taking credit for all the good work that they've done. We're in a position now to really make a claim that we are the preferred value added reseller in the drone space.
With our experience in working with different industries and different drone users, we've really honed in on what people actually need and we help them reduce the amount of waste or things that they don't actually need.
We can really help someone get to a point of success the first time, rather than them wasting parts of their budget on things that wouldn’t work for them.
DSLRPros: What are the industries and use cases that you feel have benefited the most from the integration of drones; and which ones do you feel still have not fully discovered the potential?
Randall: Clearly, there has been a massive amount of adoption of UAV technology in the public safety space. When you're dealing with saving lives or when you're saving property, that's kind of like the ultimate goal for any technology developer: that their technologies are being used for good. And we've clearly seen that. Of the 30,000 fire departments and 17,000 police departments in the United States, I estimate that there are still only around 3,000 to 4,000 total that are using drone technology. That's largely due to budgets and a lack of understanding by the populace of what drone technology can really bring to the table.
So even though I think that there has been massive adoption and will continue to grow, that's going to be more by inertia and just the necessity of it. For example, drones have almost entirely replaced traditional methods of solar inspection, because it's just so much quicker and more effective.
So I think that those kind of pioneer the way forward for other technologies to see that there can be significant return on investment when you buckle down, and you find ways that add this to your workflow. I think that there's going to be a significant amount of growth in critical infrastructure inspection, especially long linear inspection like pipelines or power line inspection; as beyond the visual line of sight becomes more of a realistic thing by way of regulations in the United States. I also think agriculture is one industry that can benefit greatly from drone technology, but there's a lot of challenges, not just regulatory challenges like beyond visual line of sight, but also just getting to the end user and allowing them to be educated on the ways that that return on investment can happen.
These people are not always the easiest to access, either by technology or face-to-face, based on where they are geographically.
So we could do better as an industry by really focusing on this type of user and getting them to understand where we can take this technology over the next few years. I’m very much looking forward to doing that with DSLRPros.
And we’re looking forward to working with Randall as well!
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