CentrAlert releases new emergency notification system, aims to expand dealer program

Thursday, April 26, 2007

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--CentrAlert, a privately held emergency communications company, announced April 23 the addition of a new product in its line-up of emergency evacuation systems, called "Notifier." The company has also recently hired vice president of sales and business management Rod Schrader, partly to focus on development of the dealer program.
The company is billing the Notifier as a "secure messaging system able to reach thousands of people at one time." In a provided release, company president and founder Jeffrey Whattam said, "Critically important messages sent by Notifier get read. That's because Notifier grabs control of computer screens and doesn't let go until the user closes the screen message." Once the screen message has been closed, an acknowledgement is sent back automatically to the system administrator. Notifier uses the XMPP protocol, recently approved for use on U.S. Department of Defense computers.
Notifier operates as a standalone system or as part of the EOS (Emergency Operating System) developed by CentrAlert. Messages to evacuate an area in case of natural disaster, terrorist threat, or nuclear disaster were all cited by Schrader as possible cases where the Notifier might be deployed. Currently, CentrAlert markets the EOS and Advisor Alert Radio line through an authorized reseller program. The EOS system controls existing alert devices to warn communities as well as alert "thousands of individuals" on their computer or cell phone. "In other words, it's a complete emergency warning and alerting solution," said Schrader.
Schrader was brought on board to develop the distribution channel and expand CentrAlert's dealer program. "We are fortunate to have high quality resellers today," he said. "At the same time, we are underrepresented in certain geographic areas. My focus is to duplicate the existing dealer sales and support talent in areas where we are thin right now. In addition, I am interested in talking to resellers in certain vertical markets where we should have a commanding presence," he said. He cited schools and hospitals as examples.
"There are several important reasons why a dealer or systems integrator would want to add CentrAlert products to its line card," said Schrader. "Our product suite is scalable, our margins are competitive, we have new products in the development pipeline, and we offer recurring revenue on certain products."
To support its resellers, "CentrAlert is planning a training program this summer," according to Schrader, "although the venue decision is not yet final."