'We respond, they develop--it worked out perfect'
ATLANTA, Ga.--ID Software, a software development company, announced on Jan. 31 its partnership with Southwest Dispatch Center, a third-party monitoring center in Richardson, Texas, to launch a GPS tracking and full-time monitored response service.
ID Software, which started in 1995 as a biometric software developer for law enforcement agencies, recognized the market potential of GPS for the consumer market. "We started to step back and recognize the large market penetration GPS could have from a volume perspective, but we wanted to keep our core focus as a public-safety company," said Gregory Chevalier, president and chief executive officer of ID Software. "We are not about GPS tracking, we're about GPS safety and monitoring based on the location of a person--that's what moved us in the evolution in past years to focus on developing software for a GPS tracking solution," he said.
"The fact that we are focused in the personal-safety market, we were very diligent about finding a call center that was capable and qualified to handle emergency and 911-type calls," said Chevalier. "Southwest made a conscious decision to get into the location-based monitoring market because of the rapid growth of that environment ... and built into their automation system the ability to raise panic alerts as high as possible into their queue."
"We respond, they develop--it worked out perfect," said Brant Pierce, vice president of Southwest Dispatch. Pierce said the partnership and development of the GPS platform has been in the works for more than four years. Pierce met representatives from ID Software through a mutual acquaintance four and a half years ago and "we started talking about GPS products and the potential of GPS solutions and where it was going in the future," he said. The two companies agreed on the market potential for GPS applications and agreed to work together to develop a full-time monitored and tracking GPS solution.
ID Software developed its SafeZone GPS software, which currently works with its Personal Safety Companion device and will be distributed by Southwest's dealer network beginning in Q1 of 2008. Although the Personal Safety Companion is specific to the software, ID Software developed the application to be "device agnostic" allowing compatibility with any GPS-enabled device.