Wind Trac to industry: You're 'missing the boat'

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

WOBURN, Mass.--Doug Harris, director of public relations at Wind Trac, a provider of real-time GPS-based tracking and monitoring systems, believes the traditional security industry is missing out.

“The traditional central stations … to a certain extent have been missing the boat … They protect the facilities and the homes, but there’s been a myopia, a nearsightedness,” Harris said. “[T]hey’re creating a competitor by not exploiting the product and the service.”

Traditional security companies have been too focused, Harris said, on protecting a fixed location, which has allowed mobile monitoring companies to operate uncontested. “What they’ve done is they’ve gone cash cow. They make a lot of money on the monitoring.” The problem with that mentality, insisted Harris, is that there is little competition in either market. “When employees and members of the family and children and even pets and vehicles leave,” he said, “their umbrella ceases. And others have been growing, and exploiting this market.”

Harris said that such a lack of attention on the part of the traditional security industry to sell and monitor GPS-based tracking and monitoring systems has allowed his company to flourish. As evidence of the coming growth, he points to Wind Trac’s recent purchase, announced Jan. 15, of 60,000 units of Portman Security’s popular GPS tracking line. Portman is one of the world’s largest OEMs of security devices and systems. With these units, comprising two-way voice-enabled personal trackers, watch trackers, and various vehicle trackers, including covert (hidden, magnetic) trackers, Harris said Wind Trac will continue to grow.

Mike Simpson, president of Bay City, Mich.-based central station software developer Dice Corporation, agreed the time was right for traditional security companies to expand their reach. “I think the point is that the technology is becoming more mobile, less costly, more reliable and easier for central stations to be involved,” Simpson said. “I have been saying for a couple of years now that the really smart central stations will become general monitoring centers, if they aren’t that already ... The monitoring of devices that go beyond traditional security services.”