GPS Technology: Choosing the Right Partner to Support Your Subscribers
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The application and provisioning of GPS technologies continues to explode. Most are familiar with the use of location-based services (LBS) when utilized for fleet management and with some mPERS systems. However, you might be surprised to note that not all GPS devices actually use the full power of GPS technology. While a variety of manufacturers and providers offer products featuring basic GPS technology, A-GPS (assisted global positioning system) is a valuable addition that uses cell tower data to enhance quality and precision to compensate for poor satellite signal conditions. True GPS technology is satellite based and communicates the latitude and longitude of the event, and updates the location as it moves. It is extremely important that dealers are educated on the differences among providers.
3 Hot Opportunities for GPS Monitoring
- Lone Workers – Employees that work alone and are typically mobile. Some examples are delivery personnel, utility meter readers, realtors, etc. These employees can be monitored and tracked while providing them the ability to activate a panic button if they feel compromised or uncomfortable.
- mPERS – It is no secret that our senior population is growing rapidly. Seniors are more mobile than ever, yet they need the ability to summon help when needed. mPERS allows a senior the peace of mind that they can call for help at the press of a button no matter where they are located.
- Wandering Loved Ones – There are many solutions that use GPS technology to address wandering and keep loved ones safe and secure. When paired with an experienced monitoring center, you can give customers peace of mind that someone is always watching over their loved one.
This is one of the reasons why it is so important to partner with an experienced monitoring center who can share their experiences and guide you accordingly. As all products are not to be treated equally, neither should all monitoring center providers. In order to provide proper monitoring it is critical that the monitoring center understands the technical complexity of monitoring and confirming locations of a moving object or person along with the coordination of understanding who the proper authorities are to dispatch for a specific or changing location as they move. Many claim they understand the organization and choreography of this symphony of locating a moving target while identifying the proper authorities; however, that is often not the case. Structuring and maintaining a platform, automation and subscriptions to the most accurate and updated national PSAP and mapping databases only comes from years of training, education and experience.
The key to most GPS systems is the ability to track a user with the built-in GPS tracking feature. This allows your monitoring center to know where the subscriber is when they press their emergency button, when their fall detector is activated, when they enter or leave an area (geo-fencing) or when you reach out to the user to simply see where they are at a specific time. When GPS is utilized as part of a vehicle or fleet tracking structure, other features of value include speed check, vehicle wellness check or geo-fencing. Geo-fencing offers the ability for a user to set “virtual fence” boundaries around specific users or vehicles that trigger an alert or an alarm when the device travels in or out of the virtual fence area. Use cases for GPS tracking features include medical alerts, personal safety, lone worker protection, route efficiency, maintenance schedules, staff management, location of loved ones with medical conditions that could lead to them wandering and more.
Understanding that these are not the only target markets and the complexity involved in deploying, monitoring and managing these systems, the monitoring partner you select is the most important decision you will make. Dealers should seek a third-party monitoring center provider that has years of experience monitoring GPS technology. The chosen partner should be known for its expertise in building an unrivaled monitoring platform, for the superior training of its monitoring professionals and for deploying the highest quality user interfaces.
Technology and properly trained staff are equally important. Monitoring GPS technology requires more than the rigid monitoring of signals that can follow very specific instruction sets without deviation. You need expertise that includes detailed map reading and flexibility when certain aspects of an emergency situation are unclear. You need a partner with the experience of knowing and understanding the proper method in delivering these services while helping dealers succeed as they expand into the GPS monitoring channel.
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