A conversation with Michael Campbell &
Steve Trevino heading into SOF Week 2023
Privoro Government Solutions
SOFtact Solutions (STS)
Privoro had a big announcement at the beginning of SOF Week, can you share more with us on your partnership with Samsung?
We made an announcement on a mobile security solution that has never existed. It gives users the ability to not only physically control smartphone cameras, and mask audio, but it allows for the physical controls of all radios – turning off signals that allow bad actors from tracking or locating the phone’s user.
Privoro has been working on this capability and is now leveraging our relationship with the SOFtact team to make sure we’re delivering a product that is of real value. We have a functional, fully usable solution set, a feature set that is going to the field today. Now, with the help of STS we’ve received feedback from customers such as “This is awesome, we’ve never seen anything like this before, this has never been possible.”
With Samsung, we had the opportunity to sit with the 4th largest electronics company in the world, one of the largest companies in the world, period, and they have a reputation for building unique solutions for government, and they’ve identified us to work with them and be a partner with them was powerful. This little company is doing something that is making a big difference; I think that came through over and over again. Samsung had customers that would pay them to make special modifications, so the mobile devices are more secure; they and the customers have to do that at great expense, and in a lot of ways, it makes that device hard to use because of the uniqueness of the work that was done to it.
Imagine you took your phone, and the operating system was removed, and a new operating system was put on there, and all the stuff that you were used to using has now changed and you have to relearn the device or a lot of the functionality that you had become familiar with being able to leverage is now gone, that kind of stuff and it was all done in the spirit of increased security.
With our solution there became this growing awareness amongst not only the customer base, but also the Samsung team that had been part of building custom devices, that those custom devices wouldn’t necessarily be needed anymore. You could just use our solution on a regular Samsung phone, and you’ve got this amazing hardware, built in United States, that now has eliminated the risk that they were having to do in custom operating systems and other modifications at great expense to both the customer and Samsung.
The opportunity to work with STS, a trusted entity that has the awareness and relationships with the current leadership of so many different organizations, both directly and tangentially through synergistic relationships, was very impactful.
I was amazed and impressed by the number of people that were coming to the STS booth and asking you and your team “What is a good solution to be looking for?” and you’re pointing them to us for at least a portion of their interests or concerns; we would have never been able to do something like that, your reach is unparalleled.
What feedback on the solution came up the most from customers/potential customers that you engaged with during SOF Week?
Two of the questions we received the most were:
“Love that, can you make it just a little smaller?”
Yes. Our SafeCase solution as it exists today provides physical camera and microphone control, as required by security policy as written today. Our Samsung Privoro integrated solution, new to the world, creates the opportunity to accomplish the same hardware control of the camera, microphone, and radios but in a much more elegant way. Picture a slimmer, form fitting case, with only a very thin printed circuit board assembly and independent battery versus the additional hardware we have today.
“Can you add what we call secondary retransmission or secondary broadband options?”
Imagine I’ve disabled the camera, I disabled the microphone. I now disable the radio and I can attach, or have it built in, or have it as a modular solution retransmission. What does retransmission mean? It could be a new cell connection, a new Wi-Fi connection, a new space-based connection, a new mesh radio network connection.
If you could add modular transmission or dedicated built into the case that you own as the organization, that would be amazingly powerful. And then when you say the word modular, when you say that, their head starts spinning. Modular, what else could I add to this thing?
So, for the first time ever, you’ve got bare metal control, paired and integrated in with a commercial smart device, it opens the door for capability sets that historically the government would have had to build on their own. Now they can just build a module which can be attached to existing capabilities.
Steve Trevino: We had an idea of what we wanted to do and what we wanted to provide for current and future customers. Our Team has a good understanding of where the gaps exist on both the operational and technical sides; so, the ability to leverage existing relationships with various organizations solidified our partnership and allowed for a great capabilities demonstration.
Who did you engage with?
Various components throughout the DoD – COCOMS, independent units, etc; positive responses from all solidified what we assessed with regards to what the government is lacking. One of the first things I noted was as soon as they saw the technology and capability, they outwardly confirmed their mobility gaps, and displayed an extreme interest in solving the problem.
We engaged with a variety of folks including 3 Major Commands, 3 Combatant Commands, 2 Major SOF Commands, 2 Theater SOC’s, 2 Sensitive Government Partners, 1 Special Mission Organization, 3 G6/J6’s, 1 National Guard unit and 3 Conventional Military Organizations.
Any other big takeaways?
Outside of understanding that this a great technology that they know they need, people are starting to see what we’ve been trying to promote for a couple years now, where multiple partners can join efforts, can come together, and trust each other to solve the government’s problems.
Competitors and vendors historically don’t want to join efforts. They don’t want to share secrets; they want all or none. And unfortunately, this mindset doesn’t help government solve problems. Privoro and SOFtact are doing everything together- sharing information, sharing contacts, and coming up with strategies that we can meet in the middle on to support government needs and fill their gaps as a team.
I think it was a big deal for some of the government customers to see and understand that there’s a level of trust between our organizations.
I would echo Michael’s comments and agree, partnering up in the booth was very successful and allowed a lot of those newer customers the ability to hone in and focus on the technology at a venue where demonstrations and conversations could take place.
I also want to mention the Global SOF Foundation, the GSOF team did a tremendous job. This was one of the best, if not THE BEST, SOF Weeks I have seen in 20 plus years. The setup and holistic layout flowed well and really facilitated our success; and so, my hat is off to the GSOF team. It was a great venue.
We’re just getting started and we are actively planning our next engagement! If you were unable to attend SOF Week or didn’t have the opportunity to chat with us or see the demonstration, we want to connect with you. For more information on our partnership with Privoro or any other C5 innovation questions can be found here on our website, the Privoro website, or email the Privoro team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.