Emergency Response Portal Development
Solution: Application Development, Liferay, Portals
Industry: Professional Services
Portal Developed for Emergency Response Teams to Have Access to Crucial Response Information
Project: Emergency Response Portal Development
BeSafe Technologies' suite of products and services provide police, fire, EMT, SWAT and other emergency response personnel with real time data and information for advance preparation in emergency situations. Developed as a tool to alleviate challenges faced by those with limited prior experience or knowledge of a particular site, BeSafe technologies offer immediate, detailed information to first response agencies regarding sites such as campus facilities and buildings. BeSafe floor plans, photos, unique building features and demographics provide vital information that is instantly accessible to all coordinated emergency personnel who may have only minutes to access, react and respond.
Previous to deploying a portal solution, BeSafe Technologies business model consisted of preparing and distributing safety materials to clients through offline methods of delivery such as CDs, USBs and printed materials. Clients, such as educational institutions and hospitals, used BeSafe products to collaborate within their organizations as well as with first responders on safety. But after delivery of the product, clients lacked a means to keep their critical information up to date and also did not have immediate, anytime access to data packages and safety materials.
In addition, the safety solutions provider's company website lacked any content management capabilities and thus was difficult to expand and maintain.
The company identified a need for a web-based solution that would allow clients to collaborate, communicate and maintain their safety-related data and materials, and decided a portal implementation best met their criteria for a planned client website.
BeSafe Technologies wanted to use an open-source solution to build the customer portal, but also considered leading commercially available solutions such as IBM WebSphere and Oracle WebLogic. Liferay Portal was initially attractive for the open source portal's cost-efficiency compared to competitors. But, more importantly, BeSafe found Liferay Portal surpassed other solutions from both business and technological viewpoints. The platform's role-based access, user groups and organizational structures aligned exactly with the planned client portal's organization and security models. In addition, Liferay Portal allowed BeSafe to meet other high-priority goals at the time, including modifying the business model to include a recurring revenue stream through maintenance and support contracts and online subscription fees. Through the new customer portal, the provider was also able to present its products and solutions to clients and prospects on a single site. An easy-to-use content management system (CMS) allowed employees to build out pages specifics to various solutions.
BeSafe, which initially deployed the portal on Liferay Portal Community Edition, worked with Dunn Solutions Group to upgrade to Liferay Portal Enterprise Edition, Liferay's licensed enterprise edition. The switch to Liferay Portal EE was made to provide a stable, supported portal that can continue to grow and develop through maintenance and support services.
The upgrade to Liferay Portal EE also included a redesign of the site's user interface (UI). Better organization of the site's content and an improved navigation make it easier for visitors to quickly locate the information they're looking for. The Dunn Solutions design team also incorporated responsive design so that the optimal web experience is delivered regardless of the type of device the site is viewed on.
Prior to deploying the portal-based solution, BeSafe's business model depended on contracting with existing or new clients to survey and prepare safety materials for facilities and locations at which the company had previously not completed work, as well as upselling additional consultation services. The deployment of the "BeSafe Safety Portal" enabled BeSafe Technologies to position itself as a web-based safety and emergency preparedness planning solution for schools, hospitals, commercial facilities, and other organization types.
Revenue is now generated through multiple channels – new contracts consist of one-time charges for the initial site or survey work and the configuration of the client community on the portal as well as a required maintenance contracts. After the initial duration of the maintenance contract has been met, clients must maintain or renew the support contract to continue to provide access to their safety materials for their staff and the first responders in whose jurisdiction the client facilities reside.