The Internet of Life-Saving Things: Building an IoT Hub for Emergency Services with Agile’s Shehryar Wahid

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This week on First Things First, I sit down to chat with Shehryar Wahid, the Chief Technology Officer of Agile Interoperable Solutions (AIS). Agile’s CORE mobile communications hub helps emergency responders and other mission critical organizations stay connected in situations where communication can mean the difference between life and death.

The Story:
AIS Develops a Mobile Communications Hub for Emergency Responders in the Aftermath of a Hurricane

Agile Interoperable Solutions developed its flagship product, CORE during the aftermath of a destructive hurricane that devastated south Florida, crippling local infrastructure. This mobile communications hub for emergency services makes it possible for first responders and other essential personnel to clearly and effectively communicate when it matters most.

The Lesson:
Don’t Let all the Possibilities of IoT Distract from the Problem at Hand

Whether you’re developing communication devices for emergency responders or even just connected consumer products, you can learn a lot from Shehryar and his discussion of providing value through IoT:

  • It always comes down to the user outcome. If you want your IoT solution to be successful, the end user needs to be able to use and get value from the device.
  • Focus on the essentials. Part of providing value is giving customers what they want at a reasonable price point, which requires organizations to include the most necessary features and components without trying to be everything to everyone.
  • Stick with what you have to do to solve the problem. It’s easy to get distracted with all the possibilities of IoT, but it’s important that you stick to your objective and don’t complicate it with capabilities that might dilute its effectiveness.

About Our Guest: Shehryar Wahid

With more than 25 years of experience in technology, finance, project management, and telecommunications, Shehryar Wahid serves as Chief Technical Officer of Agile Interoperable Solutions. He started his career at Ernst & Young where he conducted electronic audits of financial institutions and working on Y2K-related projects. For the past 18 years, he has worked in the communications sector as an engineer on a number of VOIP and mobile solutions for remote, international, and emergency communications.

To learn more about Agile Interoperable Solutions, visit

Show Notes

Don’t miss some of this episode’s memorable moments:

0:29 – Chris introduces his guest, Shehryar Wahid from Agile Interoperable Solutions.

1:35 – Shehryar talks a little bit more about the communications technology industry and the role it plays in emergency response communications.

4:11 – Shehryar gives an overview of Agile and explains how a hurricane in Florida inspired the company to address the communication needs of the first responders and federal agencies.

8:11 – Learn more about AIS’s flagship product, CORE as Shehryar describes why it was developed and how it works.

17:29 – Chris and Shehryar discuss how AIS was able to deliver value while still including all of the different components and capabilities they needed on the hardware and software side.

21:36 – Shehryar talks more about the process of testing for FirstNet approval and certification.

22:46 – Learn more about the FirstNet network and how it helps first responders and other government organizations communicate during emergencies.

26:09 – Shehryar shares details about a customized solution AIS built for the fire department.

30:20 – Chris and Shehryar wrap up this episode with a few final thoughts and lessons learned.

31:44 – Find out where to learn more about AIS and contact them.


“We wanted to make sure that it didn’t require a high degree of skill or expertise in order to be an operator of this device. The easier it is to use, the more likely it will be used, and that for us is kind of a primary definition of value is that it gets used when it’s needed, and people don’t hesitate to use it. They’re not afraid to use it.”

“We don’t try to be everything to everybody. We just want to make sure that we put all the most useful things in the box, and we try to keep it to a reasonable price point.”

Additional Resources

About Our Sponsor

First Things First is sponsored by Telit, a global provider of wireless connectivity modules, platforms, IoT operator services and professional services. Telit supports thousands of direct and indirect customers by enabling hundreds of millions of connected ‘things.’ With almost two decades of IoT innovation experience, Telit delivers secure, integrated end-to-end IoT solutions for many of the world’s largest brands, including enterprises, OEMs, system integrators, and service providers across industries.