By Edd K. Usman
To help the country’s local government units (LGUs) and the private sector respond immediately to public safety and emergency situations, PLDT launched on Tuesday, Jan. 31, its integrated Smart SOS Dispatch service.
The SOS Dispatch is described as a “digital emergency response mechanism that ensures effective, end-to-end incident management.” It uses ruggedized, shock, and water-resistant (IP68) Android devices that are designed specifically for emergency situations.
“This is part and parcel of the President’s (Rodrigo R. Duterte) move to really provide better service to the people and the PLDT Group is trying to do a lot things in this space to help the government,” Jovy Hernandez, FVP and group head of enterprise business of PLDT and Smart, told Newsbytes.PH.
He said two LGUs have already signed for the new service — the provinces of Cavite and Ilocos Norte. “We have a lot more in the pipeline,” said Hernandez, saying they have already discussed the emergency service solution with a number of LGUs.
Hernandez said the current emergency response systems are archaic and inefficient. “One will call about an emergency and a group of people will receive the call. But there is no central system to log the incidents. So, what happens is that once you receive the call, you will have to look for somebody to call, whether a fireman or a policeman or whoever,” said Hernandez.
With the new solution, the entire emergency reporting, response, and recording process becomes more instantaneous and reliable. Its NowForce cloud system instantly gathers all necessary information reported by a caller to a command center. This information is recorded and processed through the NowForce CRM and sent to all concerned responding units in near-real time.
Through this automation in information assessment and transmittal, time and resources are saved as calls are instantly directed to only the most relevant and nearest response units for dispatch. The PTT (push-to-talk) App helps field teams to coordinate via 1-to-1 or 1-to-many, for rapid, wide-spread and secure communications.
Hernandez said SOS Dispatch is especially designed around the Philippine 911 system. From the built-in CRM, to the mobile applications, as well as the data, voice and SMS allocations, SOS Dispatch aims to answer the need of large corporate communities such as industrial zones and commercial banks, as well as LGUs and other organizations for a more systematic emergency response experience.
“Just imagine if all the policemen in the field have a device that has Push-To-Talk capability, which is like the traditional radio — one (call) to many. One dispatcher can send a message to 20, 40, or even 100 people, with the nearest one responding,” he added.
Since the SOS Dispatch will soon be integrated in the country?s 911 system, Hernandez said LGUs will have an easier time using the system in their cities or municipalities. “Thus, the citizenry can actually have a way to call the 911 number and the 911 dispatcher will have the SOS Dispatch system. So, it is all integrated into one.”
Hernandez said the SOS Dispatch is not only for the government, but also for schools and large enterprises. “This is a combination of solutions with a lot of parts. What the PLDT Group is trying to do is to try to put everything together so they don’t need to buy a phone and a CRM system separately, and make it easy for LGUs to adopt the system,” said Hernandez.
He said they plan to let LGUs use the system for month and return it without financial obligation if they do not like it. “That is a way for us to really prove to the market that we are confident of our solution,” he said.
The Smart SOS Dispatch comes at an exclusive package for LGUs at only P3,500 per month for each device. This comes with a ruggedized Android device, Genaker PTT and NowForce applications, Unlimited Calling Circle and allocated SMS for all networks for 30 months.