The world of ‘lone workers’ is a market that has seen increased focus on an individual’s personal safety. This follows high profile cases resulting in harm or worse, where the ability to respond and assist, or track and trace the person was limited. Today, in the UK alone, of the four million people classed in their role as lone worker. For community-based personnel, or those in job roles where there is a large amount of social interaction, there is an increased risk of incidents of verbal abuse and assault. Whether a worker’s risk profile is primarily social, or indeed an environmental risk – where incidents of slips, trips and falls are more likely to occur, employers have a duty of care to ensure each worker’s safety is paramount.
An organisation that has grown and evolved in providing complete lone worker safety solutions is UK-based Connexion2. Formed in 2003, the company is now recognised as the leading specialist in delivering device-based mobile communications to a remote monitoring facility supported by a customer facing mobile workforce management platform. That monitoring facility provides the escalation and response for employers whose staff need assistance.
The management system can help optimise and manage a workforce by monitoring movement, geo-fencing, and rule based alerting. This is a cleverly disguised GPS-enabled name badge that communicates via the mobile network. The name badge known globally as Identicom comes in a number of derivations and is worn by over 120,000 lone workers worldwide.
Marketed directly and via channel partners, a key driver to the success of Connexion2 is the reliability and management of the cellular connectivity required by each lone worker device. Integral to the performance of the monitoring system, and commercially important to ensure best value across the board, one year ago Connexion2 took the strategic step to appoint leading M2M connectivity and managed services specialist Wireless Logic. With tens of thousands of subscriptions (connections) in management through a number of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), a review of the base highlighted the potential need for consolidation.
Nick Davies, Product Manager, Connexion2 explains more: “Managing the performance of multiple SIMs from different networks flagged up a lot of issues in terms of daily contact with the networks and the varying levels of service expectation – something vital in our business. Whilst currently a mainly voice-driven application, we felt that identifying a specialist M2M partner could enhance the connectivity relationship and give us more control of the SIM estate.”
Approaching Wireless Logic, Connexion2’s requirement scope included a single point of control for both UK and European networks, plus a review of commercials to ensure best value. Taking up the mantle at Wireless Logic, Matt McPherson and his team conducted a full review resulting in a full migration of multiple network SIMs onto the Wireless Logic SIMPro platform.
Matt McPherson comments: “Clearly one of the main challenges that Connexion2 faced was the need to have strong relationships with the networks. Our review highlighted limitations in day to day management and varying SLAs across the board. With a mainly voice application it seems that they fell between the gaps within the MNOs being regarded as an Enterprise requirement and needed repositioning firmly as a M2M client. Our task was simple and the consequent proposals were appreciated and accepted.”
Today and one year on, Connexion2’s SIM estate across Everything Everywhere, Vodafone and O2 are all administered through Wireless Logic’s SIM provisioning and control platform, SIMPro. Through this, the Connexion2 team can manage their entire SIM portfolio in one window, managing tariffs, provisioning new SIMs and tailoring their own billing solutions in line with their own invoicing structure.
“A fundamental aspect of the new relationship is that we now have a single point of contact for every network – UK and European, and for us that is really important,” continues Nick Davies of Connexion2. “We have been able to commercially improve a wide range of tariffs, ensure effective aggregation within each individual tariff, and now have a collectively better level of service, regardless of network. Wireless Logic understand our business model, know the response levels required and can bring the type of disciplines obviously utilised in more classic M2M data applications into our world of enterprise lone working. In a phrase, ‘they take ownership’ and we are pleased with that.”
Whilst voice and SMS are the main communication requirements for Connexion2 currently, the need to deliver more live and detailed information beyond voice is here and now. The latest incarnations of the Identicom name badge incorporate camera technology to capture still images and ultimately video. Combine this with existing voice and location based services, the proposition of enhanced monitoring is key to the safety of people working remotely. Trials are underway in both the US and UK using 3G which will see increased levels of data transmitted through the Connexion2 management platform.
“This is where we come into our own,” explains Matt McPherson of Wireless Logic. “Connexion2’s product evolution requires competitive and data-heavy tariffs that can be built into their monthly contracted model. We are exploring a number of options for use in the US and Benelux. From one brief and one call, we’ve proposed a number of MNO proposals and subsequent trials. And importantly, when rolled out internationally, we can ensure complete visibility of each SIMs usage via the SIMPro platform. This is vital to avoid ‘billshock’ particularly in cases of data-rich applications.”
For the lone worker market, organisations like Connexion2 are empowering employers to support their remote workers by reducing risk, increasing workforce confidence and reducing associated business costs. By forging a partnership with communications and managed services specialist Wireless Logic, the entire solution that Connexion2 brings to market is stronger, more reliable and importantly, highly competitive.
Our growth and success is directly attributable to lining up processes and partners that are focused on highly quality results. From British manufacturing, outstanding technology development and now a tailored communications aggregator on board, Connexion2 is well-placed to continue our expansion across Europe