Creativity + Experience = Winning Solution for an Emergency Services Mobile App Provider

emergency services platform design

Often at viiz, we like to say that we’re in “perpetual start-up mode.”  What this means is that we avoid complacency and nurture creativity, in all areas of the company.  This philosophy is a win for our staff because there are always opportunities to learn and bring new ideas to life.  Equally as important, our philosophy delivers customized, groundbreaking solutions for our customers. 

 Not too long ago, viiz was approached by an innovative company named sfara that had developed mobile functionality in personal safety and control with patented technology.  sfara had created a personal safety and security service that utilizes a mobile app in four primary areas: automatic detection of collisions, personal safety functions, driver behavior monitoring, and fleet performance analytics.  What they needed next was a trusted provider in the emergency services industry to handle the mission critical calls made from their customers and to create a solution that was a perfect fit.

 Specifically, sfara needed a partner who could customize a solution to meet the demands of their mobile app and help them get it into the market as quickly as possible.  They approached viiz with this because we offer a range of emergency services solutions to many customers.  Coupling our history in the industry with our service platform, which is designed for customization and speed, we were an excellent choice as a partner.

When sfara approached us, they asked us to create a platform that could:

  • Build a RESTful API (Application Program Interface) with key based authentication.
  • Handle unexpected data intelligently.
  • Set up a flexible API key system, allowing different keys to link to different call data.
  • Handle different types of alarms (manual vs auto, low confidence vs high confidence), showing different prompts or flows depending on the types.
  • Include a ticket search system allowing administrators to review all data from previous calls.
  • Offer an agent UI (user interface), allowing agents to quickly review call details, see the caller's location, and reach out to emergency contacts with an intuitive guided flowchart.
  • Provide PSAP (Public-Safety Answering Point) callback support, allowing PSAP agents to obtain more details, and allowing viiz agents to update their ticket notes.

As is our process, our development team focused on creating a customized solution.  The solution we designed utilizes cloud-based technology and provides satellite backup sites at secure off-site locations, chosen to be geographically separate in the event of a large-scale disaster. There were some challenges along the way that we resolved, including building the platform in a fault-tolerant, scalable format and creating a means to forward the location data to our PSAP routing provider, allowing them to forward the GPS coordinates to the 911 centers.  Ultimately, the team not only met all sfara’s original requirements and overcame these unexpected challenges, but we also built in some unique and high functioning features, including:

·        The ability to respond to distress alarms (manual or automated) with rich, real time data available to the agent.

·        A flexible API that can easily be extended to handle additional data points.

·        Weekly reports detailing call volume and aggregated call status.

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sfara was very pleased that we had understood their needs so thoroughly and been able to develop such a customized solution within weeks of when the project began.   

The next step in launching this product was call agent training.  All agents who handle calls for sfara go through intensive training, so they understand the customer brand, the product, the unique aspects of call handling for this product, and the documentation process for these calls.  viiz emergency services call agents are already highly-skilled in handling emergency calls and have access to the PSAP database and the ability to warm transfer.  As part of viiz’s ongoing quality assurance process, the following steps take place after every call:

·        An emergency ticket is created.

·        The call recording is reviewed by a QA manager.

·        Each call is scored.

When launch day arrived, we had a solution the client was thrilled with and we were proud of.  It was another example of our perpetual start-up mantra delivering for one of our customers.  As viiz President & CEO James MacKenzie said, “We were proud to be selected as a partner for this project based on our track record of customization, speed, and quality of service.  Our team was able to step in and provide an innovative solution.”  #goviiz