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SEATTLE, Wash. — The logistics of keeping operators and chauffeurs connected can pose many challenges. If an operator chooses an all-inclusive system of communication, then he has to make sure all employees are using it and invest in costly hardware.
With a new mobile app from Twisted Pair called Wave, all of the interworking required for one platform to communicate with another is taken care of, and the team can converse seamlessly across all types of devices.
“Imagine all of the different types of communication systems out there like two-way radios and telephones, but if you look at unified communications, how can I connect my people together regardless of the type?” asks James Mustarde, director of marketing at Twisted Pair. “You need a software that puts them all together.”
Large operators could have hundreds of chauffeurs under their command. By having them download the Wave app on their smart phones or tablets, they can instantly be plugged into the system and reach anyone else in the company.
One of the cool features about the app is its ability to transform smart phones into two-way radio devices by a “push-to-talk” feature. The app also has mapping in it, so everyone can see exact locations of chauffeurs. “The dispatcher can sit there and say, ‘Hey Bob, when you dropped off so-and-so he just went north, etc.,’ and the routes can be dispatched more efficiently because the cars are mapped in real-time,” Mustarde says.
Twisted Pair, started 10 years ago, got its start doing a lot of government and military work. But as use of mobile smart devices have exploded, the company has increased its commercial business. “Last year, 75% of our business was military and government, and this year it’s going to drop to about 60-55%,” Mustarde says. “All the rest will be commercial business.”
A Web Provider
Twisted Pair also offers a cloud-based communication provider service for operators called Wave Connections. “It is different than the Wave app which is a product,” Mustarde says. “Wave Connections is a service similar to say, Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T. We offer it at waveconnections.com, and we own the cloud, we own the service, and limo operators can use our Wave app and provider service with any mobile device they choose. It doesn’t matter if it’s iPhones, Blackberries, Android; we got it covered.”
Mustarde underscores how the Wave App can integrate with an operator’s existing service provider, while the Wave Connections platform has features that would be advantageous to limo operators. For example, there is a Wave Connections browser-based application for PCs and laptop, which makes it convenient for office-based dispatchers and managers to communicate and track chauffeurs in the field.
Right Communication Fit
“Smaller and mid-size limo companies are driven by price,” Mustarde says. “So for many, just downloading the app is enough. It provides tremendous value by giving you instant communication, and the app is free to download.” The individual chauffeurs and team members continue to use their existing data service providers while still having the push-to-talk capability.
But with Wave Connections, operators can set up an account online and vary prices based on the number of users. “Say an operator wants to set it up for 50 users,” he says. “We’ll say okay we’ll charge you this amount per month. Then the individual users would go download the app appropriate for their device. Each user gets a login and password, and boom, they’re off.”
Continuing the scenario, an operator can allocate multiple channels to his team, divvying them up by location, shift, department, etc. “The communication is just like a radio system,” he says. “Anybody on channel 1 will hear everything being said on channel 1. And we just recently introduced private call, where you can push a button to speak directly with an individual and then hop back onto the main channel with everyone else.”
The company has only recently started to court the chauffeured transportation industry. But Mustarde is confident that once operators see how Twisted Pair can help their businesses, he’ll see more users. “It’s [the] early days for us. We just started marketing to the limo industry last year. We’ve got some tremendous traction, though, and a huge number of inquiries. Most of our trials right now have been in the 50-75-vehicle fleet range, and we’re excited to be working with them.”
Location: Seattle, Wash.
Owners: Subsidiary of Motorola Solutions Inc.
Service: Communications software
Contact: [email protected]; (206) 442-2101
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