This is the first podcast we have recorded under our premium Armchair Trader membership scheme. One of its features allows members to ask us to approach potential guests for the podcast. We can’t guarantee it, but we will do our best.
One of the first companies readers have nominated has actually been on the podcast already, namely ProStar Holdings. Readers asked us to invite CEO Page Tucker back on the podcast for an update on progress with the company.
On the Podcast
ProStar is a cloud-based technology provider for the engineering industry, specifically companies that need an underground precision mapping solution. It helps companies like utilities to map out critical below the ground infrastructure down to the centimetre. Its flagship product, PointMan, is the result of a major redevelopment process and went live at the end of Q1 this year.
PointMan is much easier to use and administer than previous ProStar products. Tucker explains on the podcast just how important a development this is for the company, including the recognition it is starting to get from state level regulators in the United States. It has given the company a huge level of credibility in the market and is forcing utilities and municipalities in states like Colorado to use the ProStar software.
Tucker tells us he is in discussions with a number of other states which are contemplating a similar move to Colorado’s making it obligatory for engineering companies to use ProStar data.
Plenty of scope for ProStaradopted by municipalities. US states are starting to mandate that municipalities digitally report the location of ageing water and sewage infrastructure. Most are still using paper maps. Tucker estimates that the majority of the thousands of municipalities in the US simply do not have a digital map of their critical underground infrastructure at the moment.
There is an estimated 300,000 miles of new fibre optics being installed in the US every year, but it also has to be laid against the existing 35m miles of existing US utility infrastructure. As the US moves to expand its fibre optics network, the scope for disruption is huge without a proper awareness of what is there already.
We also discuss the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill, which will address the ageing US infrastructure situation. Tucker thinks it will create a major issue for engineers, as not everyone is aware of just how much infrastructure there is below the ground and how interconnected it is. “It’s not only an issue in the United States, it is an issue globally, that can impact the economy of very large countries,” Tucker tells us.
ProStar’s platform is now available in any country, in any part of the world, works with any currency and with any language. It uses standard mobile devices. Tucker explains how the technology is now being adopted by companies working on overseas projects.
“When you come up with a disruptive technology, it is often hard for people to believe that you can actually deliver,” Tucker observes. Companies still like to spend a lot of time testing it, especially in non-US markets. It is now being tested in Australia, Canada and the UK, and looks to us like it is on the way to become the go to international solution of its type.