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Growth Opportunities and Competitive Differentiators in an Emerging First-Responder Solution Category
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This study examines the North American mobile situational awareness solutions market. Profiles of two leading provider are presented, including an examination of their product portfolios and strategies. Market trends, adoption drivers and barriers, competitive innovations, and potential growth opportunities are also defined and discussed. The mobile situational awareness solutions market is in its early stages, with a limited number of small companies competing for awareness and share. Their solutions were developed to address the challenges, risks, and shortcomings of communicating exclusively by using traditional land mobile radios (LMRs). The mobile situational awareness software product puts near real-time information about critical field situations at the disposal of emergency first response teams via their mobile devices. This information typically includes mapping of the emergency area and its surroundings, location and status of personnel and other markers, alerts, relevant photos and video, and up-to-the-minute guidance from central command.The typical mobile form factor for situational awareness software is the smartphone. Smart watch capabilities can also be provided and are already being used as a competitive differentiator.The major drivers propelling this mobile situational awareness market include the presence of multiple high-potential target markets, the legitimizing influence of key industry certifications, a growing set of strategic partnerships (channel and technology), and clear and positive benefits to the customer (faster dispatch, faster situation resolution, safer first-responders, reduced costs). This solution category has piqued the interest of certain major wireless carriers. These carriers recognize synergies with their IoT and Smart City initiatives and are acting as both resellers and technology partners with select mobile situational awareness vendors. Given the wireless carrier’s position as a trusted mobility partner, their participation in this market has the potential to calm the more risk-averse government agencies targeted for these offerings.Purchase barriers also exist and are typical for an early stage product offering. In addition to having to neutralize the concerns of technology laggards, vendors must also address the target customers’ high level of cost sensitivity, a lack of brand awareness, and concerns regarding communications reliability, security and privacy.Customer targets include both public safety agencies (police, firefighters, paramedics, etc.) and the civilian sector, including securing major events and venues.Leaders in this still-evolving market will work on increasing market exposure, stay at the cutting edge technology-wise, prioritize affordability and ease of use, and continue to explore multiple use cases.
Key Issues Addressed
Author: Jeanine Sterling
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