Talking Tech - Lone Worker Solutions with John Murphy, CTO, Isle Systems
Continuing our interview with John Murphy, Co-Founder and the Chief Technology Officer of Isle Systems, John shares his philosophy on lone worker technology and what it is that makes the Isle Systems tech tick.
What’s your philosophy for lone worker technology?
“My philosophy on lone worker technology is pretty much my philosophy for all types of technology. It’s simply a means to deliver a solution to a problem. The power I think comes from understanding the problem you’re trying to solve for the market or indeed a specific customer. The better you understand the problem, the smarter your tech becomes, and the smarter it evolves.
“Isle Systems specialises in providing technical solutions to customer problems. We don’t have what you would traditionally call lone workers, and we don’t use our own tech – except in development, testing and support – but we understand those business processes and develop the technology to support those processes.
“We make our management platform and our communications engine flexible enough to work with their processes, not force companies to change their processes to accommodate the new technology. That’s like forcing everyone to use US A4 paper and when Europe is on European A4. It’s our job to accommodate the huge variety in lone worker processes. We’ve a new product coming out soon called Atlas Hello, which is a dynamic phone book and presence aware communications app for smartphones. It’s not simply an address book. The system knows what device a user is using, whether it's mobile, desk or soft phone, and adapts accordingly. The customer doesn’t have to worry if a particular lone worker has brought his or her device in. They log in however they want and the app does the rest. This is how we support the customer, the person in charge of lone worker safety. These little niggly things are important to them.”
How you manage the development roadmap?
“As with many companies, it’s about getting the balance right between developing custom solutions requested by a specific customer and seeing the general applicability of the innovation across the market. There are of course standard things you need, like monitoring, alert responding, positioning, mapping, communications and so on. Added to that, we often get both customers and distributors or resellers coming to us looking for an elegant way to connect technologies, and it’s great to have both stakeholder groups contributing to our roadmap.
“For instance, I can think of two reseller partners who have their own products who came to us to build a bridge between their customer's infrastructure and our monitoring platform Aspect PPS. There’s a great two-way benefit here. It allows the reseller to sell Aspect PPS into their own customer base because we’ve build bridging apps between systems. It also gives us access to new markets via the specialties of our reseller network. Additionally, we can see the applicability of a vertical-specific innovation into lots of other areas. So, we identify innovations, but sometimes a customer or a reseller comes to us with an idea or innovation and we see the broader application.”
What’s coming up for Isle Systems?
“We’re launching two new products shortly, a device and the Hello app I mentioned. This is always an exciting time, for obvious reasons. It’s also a really busy time. This is because our business all boils down to communication and how communication is achieved. We’ve a powerful platform that manages event-based data in a way that’s easy for people to see what’s going on. The communication aspect can vary dramatically, between, for example, someone actively engaging with the system to sound an alert and the system doing the activation because the affected person is incapacitated in some way and can’t do it. Clearly, these two alerts are different in their urgency, and the system treats them that way. It’s being mindful of this detail, these nuances that makes the solution different.
“So, coming back to the communication aspect, once we release a product and it becomes accepted, our customers and new customers start using it, hammering away and feeding back. Users will ask: can it do this? Can you make it do that? That’s when a product’s development really accelerates, when users in the field are requesting that we build on what we have. With these two launches we’re in for some very busy, exciting times. “
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