When you undertake a public safety or security project, there’s a lot at stake - the safety of your community, protecting public property, and the ability to attract tax revenue via businesses and new residents. Therefore, you need to think very carefully about who you will partner with before starting your next project. In the world of public safety technology, who you work with makes a lot of difference in what you are able to do.
1. Start by finding someone who wants to be your partner.
There’s a big difference between an order taker and a technology partner. A typical vendor is a lot like shopping at a grocery store—you have your list, you tell them what you need, and they fill the order and install the technology. But are your desired organizational outcomes to buy cameras or access control systems? Probably not. Public safety projects typically revolve around protecting people. That’s not necessarily the same as installing a few cameras. But that’s the difference between working with a vendor and a partner: the partner will dive deep into the goals you have for the project and ensure their solution is able to deliver on those goals. A lot of tech companies use the term partner, but few know how to make it happen.
2. Don’t assume anyone can work with government entities.
Let’s be honest: government agencies are a different animal. There are a lot of considerations unique to municipalities, and not having an extensive understanding of the inner workings of those considerations can mean bad news for your project, your solution, and your likelihood of success. The solution? Work with a company that knows government projects inside and out.
3. Skip the bargain shopping.
We all know about the budgetary concerns that government agencies face. The obvious solution would simply be to find the lowest bidder and use them, right? But so often, this “obvious solution” winds up costing so much more in the end. Have you ever heard the saying, “Buy it nice or buy it twice?” It’s completely accurate in this case—the more you’re able to invest in a partner, the better (and faster and more reliably) the solution you create together will work.
4. Think about the after-project from the very beginning.
Here’s some kind-of-bad news: the successful installation and training of a solution is only the beginning. What about maintenance, updates, repairs, or upgrades? The vast majority of technology “partners” won’t think about that aspect of their solutions, but these questions are a vital part of a public safety security solution helps government agencies effectively fulfill their role. So ask about the after-care process and find a company who will remote in and help if something’s not working – instead of leaving you out in the cold.
5. Look for your last stop.
One of the most frustrating aspects of many government public safety solutions is the work you have to put into onboarding a new partner. The 200 emails you can’t respond to while you’re in meetings and walking sites don’t magically disappear - you just wind up having to answer them over the weekend. Wouldn’t it be simpler if you had a go-to public safety security expert who already knows your organization and can take the reins so you can rock at your role?
ICU is a true technology partner that provides public safety security solutions exclusively for government agencies. Visit here to learn more about what we do and how we can contribute to your public safety objectives.