Connecting Critical Operations — Choosing a Tracking Company in 2020

As technological platforms continue to evolve and advance, it is right that you should expect the same of your tracking solution. Your tracking provider should go the extra mile to supply your enterprise with a platform that empowers effective business management by giving your team the tools to take charge of operations. Here’s what you should look for in a tracking company in 2020.

Turning data into intelligence 

In 2020, your tracking provider must offer more than dots on a map.

Smart tracking companies enable you to transform operational data into actionable intelligence – allowing you to use both real-time, and historical, data to make better operational decisions. Access to actionable data allows businesses to better visualize a team's location, status and movements in real-time.

Easy access to this data gives your organization greater situational awareness, resulting in superior management, command, control and deployment of your resources and personnel. Historical data can produce meaningful and compliant reports, replay situations, improve procedures and efficiently plan future operations. This can improve processes, save money – and keep your people safe.

Many companies provide tracking, but few tracking companies allow you to utilize this data in ways that help you improve your business. Intelligent tracking companies aren't just a provider, but a partner, in your operations.

Access to intelligent data allows customers to:

  • Know the real-time status of your resources and team, for greater situational awareness
  • Deploy resources that are best suited for a mission or job
  • Gather mission data (tracking, communication history, an asset's track or trail) and display in a modern report

Global and continuous connectivity shouldn’t mean expensive

To ensure effectiveness in your operations, it is imperative that you never lose track of your resources and personnel. Therefore, a solution that allows for tracking of all asset-types, both in cellular and satellite, is a must. This level of service, however, does not need to result in a colossal cost.

In the past, many tracking providers solely offered satellite connectivity, the most expensive variant of asset tracking. And in order to keep expenses to a minimum in satellite, operators generally favoured longer reporting periods with a ping rate between 5-10 minutes. As a result, the tracking data obtained was infrequent and did not provide a full view of movement history. This also resulted in a larger search radius in an emergency. Messaging in satellite is also costly, which tends to discourage communication.

"In 2020, your tracking provider should be able to provide you with multi-band tracking and communications – meaning you can track in the most cost-effective network, without the risk of quality."

Smart tracking systems and devices will give you the choice to track and communicate in cellular, radio-frequency, ADS-B and satellite when the other networks aren't available. Multi-band tracking utilizes all available signal types, ensuring operators always remain in reach.

Achieved by automatically switching to the strongest and most cost-effective connection available, intelligent tracking platforms allow users to justify an increase in the frequency of their tracking operations, enhancing reporting data, strengthening asset contact and limiting operational expenses.

Multi-band tracking and communication limits the costs to providers but ensures a reliable network always exists. Reliable and consistent connectivity ensures peace of mind for users, and if something does go wrong, your crew’s exact location is immediately known, providing emergency services with an accurate path of asset activity.

"Interoperability doesn't need to come at the expense of cost in 2020."

Ensuring First Responders are never alone

In an emergency, our communities rely on first responders to come to their rescue. But whose role is it to help the helpers?

Hardware is becoming more advanced, and in turn, tracking companies are fed with increasingly perceptive data. We can be informed of sudden descent/ascents, impacts, a skipped tracking ping (better term) to name a few.

Smart tracking providers offer safety management tools and alerting, meaning first responders are always supported in an emergency.

This information signals an alert to inform management, but also to inform your solution provider so they can contact your emergency contacts immediately, or run an efficient emergency procedure. More than just selling a device, your tracking provider is now more than ever becoming your partner to face emergencies. That also means they should be available 24/7, whenever operations are running, alongside your teams.

These tools include:

  • Automated alerts in potential emergencies ie: person down, impacts, sudden descents, loss of tracking
  • Event alerting: receive text, email or call of certain emergency events, or arrivals/departures
  • Distress notifications and SOS support

Integrations which streamline processes and reduce costs

It's important that your tracking provider offers seamless integrations with other technology partners and systems that you use in your business. If your tracking provider is trying to monopolize the market, then you're with the wrong company. Instead, it's about empowering customers to use the systems and hardware they trust or require – especially when their roles are responsibilities can differ, despite working on the same job.

1. Integrate seamlessly with your collaborators, no matter their tracking providers

In an emergency or in contract work, what matters most is having complete visibility of all resources and the people involved in an operation, no matter their tracking provider or their contract.

"Integrations with different tracking providers are vital, especially for businesses who collaborate and work together for contracts or in emergencies."

Not all businesses will have the same internal systems or choose the same tracking provider. To ensure that customers can have the choice of their provider, and the hardware that they love, an intelligent tracking provider works with, not against, other players in the market. 

"Find a system that allows you to work with other businesses seamlessly. In an emergency, data must be shared for successful collaboration. This is a must with your tracking provider when you're working on shared jobs."

If your tracking provider allows integrations with other systems, for ease of use and collaboration, then you're working with a modern tracking provider. 

2. Interoperable hardware – your tech needs to talk

In an emergency, multiple parties, organizations and departments band together for greater success. Your tracking provider and technologies must do the same.

Smart tracking providers should have the ability to create an interconnected ecosystem which allows complementary services, providers and solutions to work seamlessly together.

"Put simply, your tech needs to talk!"

Interoperability is the ability of systems, personnel, and equipment to provide and receive functionality, data, information and/or services to and from other systems, personnel, and equipment, between both public and private agencies, departments, and other organizations, in a manner enabling them to operate effectively together.

The world's best tracking providers offer a platform where users can share and collaborate within their own organization, and alongside other industry professionals. It's inter and intra-operability. 

Modern tracking companies integrate with all leading hardware companies, ensuring that regardless of the hardware that you choose, all resources and personnel can be monitored, and can communicate with one another.

Gain oversight from anywhere, at anytime

Smart tracking companies also allow you to use the hardware and devices that you trust or require. This is done through ensuring your tracking company is a SaaS model. A modern concept, SaaS-lead (software as a service) companies provide a platform primed for continuous innovation and improvement through the use of smart, data-driven software. 

SaaS orientated tracking providers store their data in the cloud. This mobilizes your business model, meaning that data can be accessed on any platform, cell, tablet or web browser, wherever there is an internet or cellular data connection. 

When data is securely stored in the cloud, it removes the need for organizations to install and run applications on their own computers or in their own data centers. This eliminates the expense of hardware acquisition, provisioning and maintenance, as well as software licensing, installation and support. And importantly, it guarantees you always have access to the latest features and functionalities available on the market, without reinstalling your entire solution.

Intelligent tracking providers give customers:

  • The ability to have inbound gateways from other tracking service providers, so that all assets can be visualized on the one platform when required.
  • No matter what hardware you use (bearing in mind there are numerous options within aviation, land, maritime and personnel tracking alone), you can maintain visibility of your resources (and other assets when required).
  • The ability to share data between tracking providers allows for seamless collaboration in contractual or emergency situations. Your tracking provider should make working together simple. 

A future-proof tracking system

The tech industry is incredibly diverse and innovative, and platforms evolve at pace. A SaaS-based tracking company stays up to date with technological trends, and isn't bound to certain systems or hardware. 

A cloud-based tracking system allows for lightning-fast upgrades. Mapping and data analytics technologies are constantly optimised and technology is advanced to ensure optimal resolution, minimal rendering time, and maximum value extraction from data.

The value for your organization is not in the tracking data itself, and these little dots on the map, value is in the information extracted from the data thanks to analytics and artificial intelligence. In the future, your tracking provider is more likely to evolve and provide you with insights and intelligence, rather than data. The ultimate goal is to support you in improving your operations, your efficiency, within budget.

Powerful data at your fingertips

The role of a tracking provider in 2020 is to make real-time data accessible and reliable. With powerful data at your fingertips, you can make empowered decisions that better serve your organization, your team, and your community. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What can you do with your data?
  • Does your tracking provider empower you to to better plan and manage your operational efficiency?
  • Are you able to make smarter, safer decisions with your operational data at hand?

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