Belfast Telegraph

Lone workers get peace of mind with link to emergency services

By Paul Gosling

Guardian24 is the trading name of Belfast-headquartered company Bluechip Technologies. It was formed in 1998 to provide call management software for call centres that operate on corporate telephone systems.

A key development occurred in 2000 when the business introduced the first lone worker support application, which has since evolved into what became the company's flagship product Guardian24 – and is now its only product.

G24 provides a personal emergency response service to vulnerable, isolated workers, with the system logging worker's whereabouts, recording details of their location and expected duration.

A user can press a discreet panic alarm if in need of emergency assistance.

The success of the company is clear from the size of its user base – more than 40,000 lone and mobile workers and over 400 public and private organisations across the UK and Ireland use the product.

Customers include local authorities, health trusts, housing associations, charities and financial institutions.

G24 is committed to continued product development and earlier this year launched a G24 Apple iPhone app. A sister company, Guardian MPS, operates in the United States, based in Philadelphia. US customers include the Philadelphia city authority.

The company, which has 28 staff in Belfast, lifted the UTV Business Eye Award for research and development project of the year 2011.

Chief technical officer and company co-founder Paul Donnelly said: "This was a fantastic award to receive in such a hotly-contested category. Northern Irish organisations are at the cutting edge of innovation and technology and we were delighted to be recognised for our continuous research and development.

"With the changing requirements of our customers, developments in legislation, industry standards and advancements in new technologies, our in-house research and development team are key to ensuring Guardian24 remain at the forefront of the lone and mobile workers industry."

G2 has also won two prestigious industry awards – the IFSEC 2013 Lone Working 'Product of the Year Award' and, this year, the Lone Worker 'Solutions Provider of the Year'.

The company's chief executive Henry Woods said the awards are important to the business.

"We are very pleased and proud to be recognised in this way," he said. "Industry awards are an important part of the buying process, it's helpful for customers – who are trying to make complex buying decisions – to see that an independent expert has evaluated some of the choices available and can make some clear recommendations. Awards play an important part in that process."

G24 is confident that the business can expand further, catering for a growing market. It calculates that 22% of the workforce are lone workers, for at least part of their working time, and it points out that employers have a legal duty to protect them.

Mr Woods (above) said: "We aspire to expand further, in terms of new customers in new sectors, continue to see our Guardian MPS company grow in the USA and continue adding new features and functionality to our existing products.

"With our continual investment in research and development, we aim to remain at the forefront of lone worker safety.

"Exciting times are ahead as we hope to add to our already wide range of devices which currently consists of the BlackBerry smartphone, iPhone, Android smartphone, Windows PDA, Mobile Phone and specialist Lone Worker Pearl+ device."

G24 is clearly well positioned to continue its success.

Belfast Telegraph

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