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A cost effective cloud-based platform for delivering the highest level of security, supervision and management for security companies utilizing Push-to-Talk and Internet of Things technologies.

A Greek startup has become a major player in security solutions after developing a mobile monitoring app for lone workers during EU project QR-PATROL PRO.

In the ‘gig’ economy more and more of us will work alone, without a direct manager on site and without any co-workers, for at least part of our working day. Terracom Informatics, a small Greek company, is now selling a mobile application to help protect ‘lone workers’, whether they be travelling salespeople, social workers or professional security people patrolling offices in the dead of night.

Developed over two-and-a-half-year project QR-PATROL PRO, the cloud system commercialised in 2018, has helped Terracom grow its business by 70 % in a year, reaching 1 000 customers in 78 countries, most of them outside Europe.

“We’re among the first three main players offering real-time monitoring and we’re the one with the fastest growth based on downloads from Google Play and Apple iTunes,” said Mr Stelios Gkouskos, Terracom’s co-founder.

That’s quite a feat given businesses in North America, Canada and the UK have tended to dominate the development of IT solutions in the field, partly due to specific health and safety legislation introduced in those countries.

It all started back in 2014 when Terracom released a system for security guards called QR-Patrol. It sought EU funding to add Internet of Things technologies features to it. It wanted guards making security rounds to be able to raise an alarm if attacked or injured by pushing an SOS button on a key chain or speaking into a mobile phone using a ‘push-to-talk’ system similar to old-style walkie-talkies.

Piloting innovation

Many systems require security guards to phone in progress on a security round or upload reports. But Terracom’s system, test driven by customers in Greece and the UK, allows individuals carrying a smartphone to be monitored from a central control in real time. Bluetooth beacons placed strategically detect a worker, sending information to a control centre. Managers quickly spot problems like deviations from the security round.

Terracom has even developed a clip to be worn near the neck. A sensor on it detects if the wearer collapses and the phone application automatically initiates a ‘Man Down Alert’ for the person in charge to provide assistance. That feature is invaluable for attacked security guards but also for a lone construction worker who falls.

As the system developed, Terracom realised it was not just useful for security guards – but for anyone working alone. Terracom customers now include hotels, cleaning companies, police departments and postal services. As a result, it rebranded QR-Patrol PRO as MyLone Workers and established a network of resellers in 27 countries to support local markets.

Terracom expanded internationally during the project, helped by coaching on the Open Disruptive Innovation Scheme, showcasing its product at the EU’s pavilion in Dubai and Chile. Mr Gkouskos feels well placed to tap a market of mobile workers, many of whom will work alone. The research group Strategy Analytics estimates numbers will reach 1.9 billion by 2020, 43 % of workers. He says: “We avoided the ‘Valley of Death’, which kills most startups, where they run out of resources before generating the income to sustain progression and execution.”

Reference source: A cost effective cloud-based platform for delivering the highest level of security, supervision and management for security companies utilizing Push-to-Talk and Internet of Things technologies.

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