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

Thursday, January 22, 2009

WOBURN, Mass.--Doug Harris, director of public relations at Wind Trac, a provider of real-time GPS-based tracking and monitoring systems for asset tracking, fleet management, child tracking, and a number of other applications, believes that the traditional security industry is missing out on potential business.

"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. We've approached these people with regard to expanding their service," Harris said. "[T]hey're creating a competitor by not exploiting the product and the service."

Traditional security companies have focused, Harris said, on protecting a fixed location and have been too caught up in the allure of RMR. "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 it is limited to protecting an address. "What happens is, when employees and members of the family and children and even pets and vehicles leave, their umbrella ceases. And others have been growing, and exploiting this market ... it's a booming market that, unfortunately, the fixed facility monitoring has missed."

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. "We've taken a very reasonable and a very reasonably-priced approach that most people don't." It's this willingness to "protect the family, protect them where they go," to go mobile, that will set Wind Trac apart, said Harris. "Individuals can save a bundle getting out of the conventional monitoring culture and that's the secret to our success--reasonable profits, great products and good service," Harris said.

Mike Simpson, president of Bay City, Mich.-based central station software developer Dice Corporation, agreed that 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 in the monitoring part of a solution," 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. This is the result of moving into the monitoring of devices that go beyond traditional security services."