What’s New? It All Fits on Your Phone…
Station Check recently introduced several major upgrades to its cloud-based software package for first responders. To get a better understanding of this significant move, reporter David Montville recently met with Station Check’s president, Brian Sroub to discuss those software enhancements.
MONTVILLE: I noticed you changed your software. Why?
SROUB: We’re just continuing our mission to better serve our customers. Software is a living product. The best software companies are always finding ways to improve their product and make their customers happier.
MONTVILLE: Of course. What were the major changes this release offered?
SROUB: Since 2010, we have been working with fire departments and EMS units to make it easier for them to do the apparatus and equipment checks they must do every day, every week to be ready for that next call. Over the last seven years, we have added thousands of features that our customers were asking for. We are best-in-class for equipment inspections from a functionality perspective. But over time as we kept bolting on new features, it became increasingly difficult for new customers in particular to work their way through the software.
MONTVILLE: I’ve seen that happen with so many other companies.
SROUB: Yes. I’m exaggerating a bit, but this upgrade was a little like going from a DOS program in the 1980’s to a mobile phone app in 2017. People today want software they can figure out on their own. Training is important for our first responders, but they get so much of it – they need us to make it easy to figure out quickly. It’s got to be intuitive.
MONTVILLE: We don’t have time here to go into every new feature. Are there any you’d like to highlight?
SROUB: I’ll draw your attention to a few. First, we made it easier for the field officer who actually does the check as well as the person who fixes faults. They account for over 85% of the use of the system
MONTVILLE: As one of that kind of person, I applaud you.
SROUB: Thanks. Second, we focused on making the user interface work well on a cell phone, not just a tablet or a notebook. We recognize that there are some tiffs going on about the use of personal cell phones in the workplace, but we also saw that a majority of our users were already using cell phones on Station Check today … and no department that we were aware of was issuing personal tablets to every user doing checks and repairs. We figure the turf battles over the hardware platforms will work themselves out. We provide the solutions that work the best from a human point of view … and what works on a cell phone also works on a tablet, even better.
MONTVILLE: I like it. Those battles will shake out. Is there anything else?
SROUB: We also made it much easier to navigate through large departments. Our team came to call this Scope. Basically, Scope allows larger organizations to know exactly where they are within a large organization and then to mince and mash the data within stations – and the workgroups within those stations — to see just the information and tasks they are looking for.
MONTVILLE: It sounds like something a power user would like …
SROUB: <laughs> Yes, I understand, but if you’re a larger department of say thirty or more stations, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without Scope, and once you use it for a few hours, it becomes a natural.
MONTVILLE: If it’s ok with you, I will follow up with some of your larger departments and report back.
SROUB: Please do…you know where to find us.