How Flock Safety Keeps its Customers Safe with Polytomic
Introducing Flock Safety
Flock Safety runs a powerful public safety operating system used by businesses, neighborhoods, and law enforcement to keep their communities safe from crime. Their product consists of both hardware and software; they provide users with the safety cameras as well as the subscription-based software that reads images like license plates. They use Polytomic to ensure quick response times to threats and to guarantee that their systems remain up and running.
We interviewed Jonathan (Jon) Love, VP of Operations at Flock Safety. The Operations team serves as the link between the Engineering team, Customer Support team, and customers. Jon’s priority is to ensure that milestones are met through successful product delivery and deployment. Specifically, this includes detecting and diagnosing issues with deployed cameras to ensure reliability for their customers.
Flock Safety provides its customers a holistic solution for setting up and maintaining safety camera systems. Their mission is to help unite civilians and law enforcement to ensure the physical security of buildings, homes, and the community in an ethical way.
The ability to quickly detect security threats for their customers is fundamental to their business.
"It's very important that when a customer camera has a potential issue, we stay in sync with it from an operational perspective and, if needed, dispatch someone who can fix it. Our mission is to eliminate crime. In order to solve crime we need cameras and software that can be installed quickly and are constantly working. The less downtime we can have on cameras, the more crime we can help customers solve.”
Potential issues arise in situations when a camera appears unresponsive as well as when too much time has passed since a camera has sent a status signal or seen a vehicle. Quickly detecting and addressing these issues is Jon’s team’s top priority.
Reliance on Manual Processes
Before using Polytomic, Flock Safety relied on manual processes to identify issues with customer cameras. This meant that, despite working in Salesforce, Jon’s team had to manually poll internal systems in search of camera downtime or any other potential issues.
“There was a high burden placed on us to monitor camera health and we couldn’t conduct rigorous reviews of issues we encountered. Our Operations team had to frequently scan multiple systems, and if there was a potential issue with a camera we had to troubleshoot it from a different tool. At that point in the process issues could have been hours old. And there was just a lot more noise and work created.”
This reliance on manual processes put Jon’s team in a tough position: either directly monitor alerts or run the risk of missing some alerts completely. In an attempt to solve the problem, the team began to sync data from their camera health databases to Salesforce every six to eight hours. But this was not a sustainable solution because it created unacceptable lag time between customer issues and camera fixes. This meant that if a camera was down, Flock Safety would only notice it potentially eight hours later. Any criminal activity during that time period would go unnoticed.
Preventing Crime with Real-time Data Syncs
Jon needed a system that: (1) synced data in real-time from Flock Safety’s camera health database to Salesforce without involving the engineering team, (2) did not overwhelm Salesforce's API limits, and (3) met Flock Safety's infrastructure security requirements.
Polytomic met each of these needs. The platform empowers Flock Safety to continuously sync data from its camera health database into Salesforce so that they are aware of problems when they arise, all while remaining within the bounds of Salesforce API limits and in line with Flock Safety’s strict security demands. This has supercharged the productivity of his Operations team.
“Our Operations team is now able to dispatch Field Technicians when work is needed without having to do manual camera health reviews or risk making errors. We’re able to keep key data synced to Salesforce and ensure it’s sent to the right people. It allows us to have fewer offline cameras, and ultimately fewer offline cameras means that our customers can solve more crime.”
A sync from Polytomic immediately reveals when there is a problem with a camera, automatically resulting in the creation of a work order. Types of problems can include low camera battery, poor camera connectivity status, and in some cases identifying if a camera can be fixed remotely.
“Polytomic is the glue between what our engineers look at and the issues our Operations team needs to address. This improvement fundamentally changes how we function because it shifts focus away from alert detection and towards fixing the actual issue at hand, ultimately benefiting our customers.”
Real-time sync allows Flock Safety to go beyond addressing current security issues; he can now focus on preventive camera maintenance as well.
“We have police departments who appreciate and acknowledge the fact that we have repeatedly resolved potential issues with their cameras before they noticed. To do that, we need to get that notification in real-time to be able to respond. It certainly would not be possible to respond as quickly if we were unable to identify an issue and initiate the work quickly.”
Flock Safety was drawn toward Polytomic because of its ability to reliably and efficiently sync data in real-time to systems it already used, like Salesforce. Internal teams can now review data in a familiar tool using formulas and structured processes, all of which are well set up for use by the Operations team. This has positioned Polytomic’s tool as an indispensable part of Flock Safety’s day-to-day workflow.
“Most of our operations team dispatches technicians and manages work orders through Salesforce. We run our delivery operations, installers, technicians, and services through it. But Salesforce does not naturally have access to our hardware, health, and reporting. That’s where Polytomic’s integration provided unique value for us.”
What’s Next for Flock Safety
Flock Safety generates trust with its customers by ensuring cameras remain online and alert to threats. Polytomic is proud to play an important role in that goal by helping their team understand issues with customer cameras in real-time.
As Flock Safety grows, it plans to expand its portfolio based on the needs of its customers. Jon and his team will continue to require an understanding of their future offerings through continuous monitoring of camera health, and Polytomic is proud to be part of their infrastructure as they continue their journey.