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Emergency Solutions are products, technologies and services designed to keep employees and guests safe. They are standard at some companies, but as the state level legislature heats up, it may become a “must have”.
Classifications: (what is this?)
- Category Size: Small
- Geographic Dispersion: Low
- Requirements Complexity: Medium
- Hotel, Resort, Motel, Inn, B&B, Restaurant, Vacation Rental, Spa, Golf
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While always an important topic for employers, safety has found its way into the limelight recently as multiple states have introduced legislature to require hotels to make changes to their Emergency Solutions and in certain locales, provide guests and personnel with the tools they need to protect themselves and communicate with others quickly. Front desk employees, housekeepers and other employees are often placed in lone worker situations where their ability to reach assistance may be compromised in a number of scenarios. The market has provided numerous solutions to meet this need, but now has requirements to adhere to specific safety measures for most types of businesses within Capsolve’s core industries. Whether it is for guests and employees to reach emergency services or alert another source when a worker’s safety is at risk, the marketplace of solution providers has responded.
This Capsolve report emphasizes the solutions that address emergency situations and are in response to the aforementioned legislature, which will be covered at a basic level in this report. These products are often focused on alerting other parties in an emergency, what we call Alerting Systems. However, a portion of the marketplace provides this functionality in the context of existing product lines, in categories such as Telephony, Unified Communications, Security Systems, IT Services and Operational Systems. All of the products are designed around one or more Emergency Solution needs that exist for Hotels, Restaurants, Vacation Rentals, Golf & Country Clubs in addition to other industry sectors with similar characteristics.
As of this writing, Capsolve identified 34 Emergency Solutions designed for the hospitality environment. Since most of the legislature Capsolve researched directly affects the United States, the vast majority of these solutions are provided by companies headquartered in the United States. A number of these solutions were designed to rely on existing infrastructure, while some leverage either new technology or attempt to minimize their technological footprint. Either way, the industry has a new cost associated with keeping its employees safe under certain conditions and vendors continue to make their solutions as affordable as possible while providing a quality product for its purpose, that is delivering a mechanism to ensure the well-being of guests and employees while at work and play.
As seen in the above and below image, the Emergency Solutions are delivered by United States centric companies. This and selected other areas of the world have experienced change in how businesses are required to protect their guests and employees. Despite the legal origin, some of the products are accessible in other parts of the globe and have become a standard for various hotel companies due to their interest in keeping people as safe as possible. This is a long-standing goal of the hotel industry, but many of the tools being discussed were more recently introduced to the market.
Capsolve’s Research on Emergency Solutions includes:
- Solution Styles
- Core Capabilities of Solutions
- The Ecosystem of Solutions and
- Current Trends
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Emergency Solutions are technologies and services designed to improve the safety of customers while visiting a business or employees while at work. These solutions encourage the exchange of information and communication in an effort to reduce risks that may undermine the safety of an individual.
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All solutions in this research are designed to cover the needs of hotels, but a select number are marketed to other industries as seen in the following table. Many of them are also sold within industries needing similar technologies, such as the hospital and education sectors. You will notice that the solutions within this category have two primary styles. They either provide a mobile alerting system, usually taking the form of a panic button, or they enable businesses to meet the requirements of recent legislative changes resulting from Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Law.
Capsolve has organized this category into Alerting Systems and Multi-Module systems. Alerting Systems provide one or more forms of emergency alerting, notification or communication to mitigate safety concerns that may exist for certain individuals. The lion’s share of these solutions is designed for business purposes, but the research does include a limited number of solutions designed for home or personal use. These solutions marketed features that could be applicable in a business setting, depending on the needs of the buyer. When researching the products that were part of a multi-product or multi-module system, we found that most companies adding this functionality to their portfolio of products and services were in and around the communications, telephony and networking area as previously mentioned. This capability set was a natural extension of these existing product lines.
The Capsolve Style Map shows how often the standard features appear across the category based on the aforementioned styles. The majority of these solutions focus on a form of alerting, while the multi-module solutions usually address the legislative requirements applicable to one or more industries and create the possibility for hoteliers to add this new, required functionality to their existing infrastructure without major changes to it.
Viewing these solutions from another angle could base selection criteria on the legal requirements they solve. This lens provides insight as to what products meet the requirements of Kari’s Law. This includes solutions that enable existing or new MLTS telephone infrastructures to dial 911 from any handset on the property. This law also requires compliance in the area of emergency notifications, pre-configuration and installation. Ray Baum’s Law focuses on the submission of a Dispatchable Location in the event of this type of emergency and correlates to Enhanced 911 capabilities. Lastly, multiple states now require Panic Buttons to be provided by employers to employees under certain conditions. The list of states appears to be growing and this requirement may be requested by other entities such as unions. Understanding your complete set of legal obligations as a buyer and maintaining compliance should be reviewed by your legal advisor as part of your project due diligence.
Core Capabilities of Solutions
Capsolve has identified a cross-section of the Emergency Solutions market to provide insight into what features are most often found within this category. Ultimately, employers want to keep their employees safe and provide access to emergency services when necessary. This is the origin of the need for Emergency Solutions. If you were to analyze the full set of features marketed across the industry, you will find a relatively contained set of features and capabilities. These are shared by most solutions depending only on what the product was designed to solve. Most products in the category attempt to provide solutions to either the Panic Button laws or the national laws, but a segment of the solutions do have a comprehensive approach or may be easily combined to achieve the same result.
Capsolve identified 73 capabilities across all solution providers in this research. The dispersion in this category is the result of organizing multiple styles into one category that address three primary legislative changes occurring at the state or federal levels. It is best to understand the full scope of requirements for a given project before selecting a solution to avoid pursuing a path that may need to be partially unwound. This becomes more difficult to do when pending legislation may affect your future requirements, as is a possibility in certain areas of the United States at this time. Despite these uncertainties, addressing the here and now may be a common path depending on the unique situation of a given property and its location. A key factor in your consideration is whether the solution requires an existing communications network and in what form. Understanding the reliability and speed of the solution is crucial to ensuring it fulfills its promise of safety when technology errors are not acceptable.
The Ecosystem of the Solutions
This discussion and the following image show the potential ecosystem of Emergency Solutions and how they may connect to a property’s technology. Solutions do exist in this category that have no effect on any other technology at the property. However, many rely on existing networks or communication lines to send messages, alerts or notifications of events occurring within the bounds of the system’s scope of coverage. Given the nature of these solutions and their intended purpose, the reliability and performance of the connected systems is paramount to achieving a heightened level of safety for all parties. It is important to check with your prospective vendors as to what precautions they take or recommend, to ensure communications occur as needed. The following graphic creates a consideration set of those systems and capabilities that may be part of your implementation. However, your system most likely does not require all of these connections to be installed and work effectively. The simplicity you will be seeking during any design and implementation will be found not only from limiting the number of systems required, but how they actually interact with each other.
Important conclusions resulting from this analysis are two-fold. First, it is evident that multiple options and design approaches exist within the world of Emergency Solutions for hospitality industry participants. Deciding objectives and planning with category insight and experience will reduce risk and complexity. Second, finding flexible vendors and technologies capable of both adapting to your needs and that may be easily connected to the surrounding ecosystem of solutions goes a long way toward being able to adjust based on legislative, economic, market and competitive forces.
- Legislative Pressure: While selected legislation is stable, certain laws are being formed by additional bodies. The net result is that changes may occur, causing the need for affected businesses to adapt when the sands shift.
- Safety as a Strategy: Each industry and the businesses within it need to determine what precautions, features and investments are necessary for safety, compliance or strategic reasons. These underlying needs may be quite different across companies or properties.
- Interconnectivity: Many technologies in this category are inter-reliant on other network, telephony or communications solutions, causing proper planning to be a key endeavor.
- Vendor Activity: The number of solution providers entering this space is increasing and will likely continue.
About this Report
This document details a review of the marketing information and capabilities associated with this category’s solutions and the surrounding technology ecosystem. It contains original content written by Capsolve to provide a perspective of current trends affecting one or more of the hotel, restaurant and golf & country clubs industries. The analysis covers a statistically significant portion of the previously defined category marketplace.
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