5 ways police can benefit from the Getac/GVS integration
The company aims to provide an easier, more streamlined user experience
Sponsored by Getac
By John Erich, Police1 BrandFocus Staff
As the practice of law enforcement becomes more and more technically complex, police departments can easily fall into a piecemeal approach to equipping officers. Their body and dash cams may come from one vendor, their in-car computers from another, and additional equipment from other sources. Needs are met on an individual basis as they arise, without much holistic planning or big-picture coordination.
Obviously, this can create inefficiencies. Products from different manufacturers may not be easily compatible, and departments can end up with multiple sources, points of contact and processes for working with them. Mixing and matching may also cost more. Putting the pieces together this way can cover all a department’s needs, but without the benefit of an integrated, overarching plan.
Conversely, having single vendors and contact points for meeting multiple technology needs can greatly simplify the process of outfitting officers, from obtaining new items to updating and upgrading their current tools and expanding in new directions. That’s the idea behind a recent major move by Getac Technology Corp.
On October 17 the company – a top provider of rugged video and computing technology for law enforcement and other industries – announced the integration of its Getac Inc. and Getac Video Solutions (GVS) subsidiaries.
“This alliance,” the company said in a press release, “creates a powerhouse of highly accomplished backgrounds in technology infrastructure deployments. Additionally, a unique understanding of user experience for developing innovative custom mobile solutions is accessible now to a broader range of law enforcement and public safety agencies.”
Getac’s offerings for public safety include a range of rugged laptops and tablet computers, as well as body-worn cameras, in-car video, Mobile Edge fixed-mount computing solutions and associated software. Key features of its product line include highly interactive body-worn cameras with advanced situational capabilities; a fast, robust DVR with increased connectivity and camera options; and holster triggers that lead to a higher rate of recordings at critical times.
Getac Video Solutions was the company’s video arm, offering many of the same core products, though operating separately. Its Getac Enterprise back-end video management platform lets users quickly and easily upload, share, organize and review video across departments using either a hosted server or the cloud.
INTEGRATION CREATES A FORCE MULTIPLIER
Here are five benefits this consolidation can have for law enforcement customers.
1. Combined solutions – Departments’ computer and camera needs may come with separate budgets and replacement timelines. When items can be purchased together, it’s not only more convenient, but greater synergies are possible. “In the past, where there’s been two separate budgets, we could look at an organization and say, ‘Hey, instead of separate computing devices, cameras and in-car video, we have a consolidated solution that might be more practical for a combined budget,” said Mike McMahon, president, Getac North America. The company’s custom Getac Select program combines devices, software, accessories and professional services into specific industry solutions that improve both user experience and data capabilities.
Besides maximizing return for scarce dollars, solutions built to work together should be less susceptible to lapses or losses of contact at critical times. When you’re sharing things as important as criminal evidence, gap-proofing is essential.
2. A connected car – Integrating a broad range of in-vehicle solutions can help keep officers in the field securely linked back to their command and support for optimal situational awareness, accurate intelligence and fully informed operational decisions. Getac facilitates this with advances like its VR-X20 video hardware, ZeroDark cameras and Virtual GPS Utility.
3. Convenience of the cloud – Police work today generates lots of data that must be stored, analyzed and shared. That includes not only car and body cam videos but things like dispatch files, accident reports, evidence logs and more. Cloud storage facilitates the handling of all this data and allows fast, easy access when it’s needed. Getac solutions help departments take full advantage of cloud-based data management.
4. Easier help when needed – Police work can be physically taxing, and even the most rugged items can get broken or out of whack over a multiyear lifespan. When customer service issues arise, the consolidation provides one place for departments to turn for assistance – with no more worries about which source to contact and how. On the company’s side, the move reduces duplication and provides a leaner infrastructure for meeting customers’ needs. “We had separate sales organizations and separate back offices and separate everything else,” said McMahon. “This will make us more efficient.”
5. Less to worry about – With fewer concerns about their essential technology and how it’s going to work, officers and department leaders can direct their attention elsewhere, enhancing their focus on other priorities. Joining the company arms “is a force multiplier,” said McMahon. “It makes officers’ jobs easier when they don’t have to think about integrating all these different technologies they’re required to have. They can just focus on what they need to do their job – the integration is seamless.”
SEE THE BIG PICTURE
The joining of Getac and GVS also clears the table for additional advances in the future. Innovations in areas like data analytics, the Internet of Things and 5G hold promise to further improve situational awareness for officers on the job. “We can become even more forward-thinking as an organization,” said McMahon.
In the meantime officers and departments should benefit from the creation of a whole that’s more than the sum of its parts.
“The way we look at it is, 1+1 makes 3,” said McMahon. “Once you have the consolidated resources and consolidated expertise, now you can take a step back and look at the whole car and whole operation, as opposed to just the computer side or video side of it. And when you do that, you can change the whole conversation. Because now you’re just not looking at replacing the devices you’ve had for four years or the cameras you’ve had for six. Now you can look at what your bigger objective is: What are you looking to accomplish for your officers? For instance, do you need a device that disengages from the vehicle so the officer can take it with them? Or that you can put on a desktop and eliminate the need to have a whole host of desktop computers an IT department has to manage? There’s a whole bunch of different things we can bring together now, and we believe by becoming one consolidated organization, we can provide better service to our customers.”
Visit Getac for more information.