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Spotlight: How Drakontas empowers first responders with advanced communication tools

DragonForce, the company’s signature product, transforms ordinary smartphones, tablets and computer browsers into a vital communication platform

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Company name: Drakontas
Headquarters: Blue Bell, Pa.
Signature Product: DragonForce

1. Where did your company name originate from?

Our company was formed in 2004 as a technology spinout from Drexel University in Philadelphia. The Drexel mascot is the dragon, hence DragonForce. “Drakontas” is the Greek word for Dragon.

2. What was the inspiration behind starting your company?

Service to one’s country and community can take many forms. Our company comprises software engineers, computer scientists, human factors psychologists, and business professionals. We aimed to use our skills and talents to make a positive impact. The founders of Drakontas initially supported soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. Recognizing potential applications for our technology in public safety, we established Drakontas to provide first responders with the best communication and collaboration technology available.

3. What is your signature product and how does it work?

DragonForce is a command and control, team collaboration platform that provides a “Common Operating Picture” and shared situational awareness during mission-critical operations. It features a comprehensive suite of communication tools, including real-time personnel tracking, Push-to-Talk (PTT), file and photo sharing, text messaging, video streaming, digital forms and reports, and whiteboarding. This functionality enables teams to collaboratively annotate maps, floorplans or photos. DragonForce transforms ordinary smartphones, tablets and computer browsers into a vital communication platform.

4. Why do you believe your products are essential to the police community?

The decisions you make and the actions you take are based on the information available to you, which resides in your mind, the minds of your teammates and the data systems you utilize. DragonForce provides individuals and their teams with the communication and collaboration tools necessary to access, process, and collaborate with this information more quickly, safely and effectively. Faster decision-making leads to more and better actions, resulting in improved outcomes.

5. What has been the biggest challenge your company has faced?

Educating our customers is our biggest challenge. Most public safety professionals don’t know that applications like DragonForce with its integrated set of communication and collaboration tools exist and that they are available, easy-to-use and affordable!

6. What makes your company unique?

We employ a unique approach to ensure we fully understand our customers’ needs and operational use cases. Members of our development team participate in embedded exercises with our customers. By spending hours in challenging conditions – whether it’s freezing cold, pouring rain or sweltering heat –

alongside SWAT team members, our software engineers gain crucial insights into how an app should look, function and feel in the hands of public safety professionals to provide genuine utility in the real world. This method of “living with the customer” and learning from them up close and personal endows us with domain knowledge that leads to a superior product.

7. What do your customers like best about you and your products?

They are impressed by the intuitive nature of the user interface and the ease of using the app. Often, after just a few minutes – or sometimes none at all – of orientation, they are able to use the app and train their teammates themselves. What they appreciate about us is our willingness to join them in the field, get dirty and listen to their feedback to continually improve our products.

8. What is the most rewarding part of serving the first responder community?

Being part of the team. It’s not easy to earn the trust of police officers. So, when they tell us about callouts where they used DragonForce to help resolve a really challenging situation, it motivates our entire team. That’s why we started Drakontas.

9. Do you support any charitable organizations within public safety or the community? Tell us more.

Our major charitable effort is our Safe Schools Initiative. We offer our public safety customers steeply discounted or free licenses of our DragonForce software for use in the schools. We want to make sure that they can provide the fastest, most coordinated response to any emergency in their schools.

10. Is there any fun fact or trivia that you’d like to share about you or your company?

We offer firearms safety and shooting lessons to our employees. Firearms are an integral part of our customers’ profession and it’s important that our developers and support personnel learn for themselves how challenging it is to operate a firearm – even under ideal conditions free from stress and distractions.