What have been the most important new developments in your software in recent times?
Longmire: We’ve expanded our third-party integrations to 3D Event Designer and are about to release our newest integration to EasyRFID. We’re also beta-testing our mobile application, Alert Rover, which will allow users to check equipment in and out from their smartphones. We’re continuing to develop new features for Alert Rover, as well as ongoing revision releases to our Alert Rental Software. In fact, we’ve just released version 22 of Alert!
What are likely to be the most important new developments in your software in the foreseeable future?
We’re always asking our users for their input into development, so we’re continuing to work on what they’ve voted in for last year’s User Group. We’re also working more on our mobile application, Alert Rover. Our next step is to obtain signatures, and we’ll move forward from there.
The past couple of years we heard a lot about rental companies adopting e-commerce as a far more important part of their business and software manufacturers are offering more capabilities. Enhanced customer portals have been a big part of it as well. Now that people are returning back to more “normal” lifestyles and work methods, are e-commerce and enhanced customer portals continuing to be just as popular?
Yes, they absolutely are, more than ever! As the public is more and more accustomed to shopping online, they expect every single vendor they do business with to have an engaging, useful, and thorough online presence. It’s the way we do business now.
Rental companies are now receiving a lot of data through telematics communications. How is your software helping rental companies to process and most effectively utilize this information?
Alert easily integrates with any telematics software that meets the AEMP standard. Alert’s telematics interface automatically updates fixed asset meter usage at cycle billing or check-in, which allows users to automatically bill for overages, utilize shift rates and properly trigger preventive maintenance notifications. In our next revision of Alert, we are expanding our interface to add the ability to show the location of the asset from within a ticket or from the Fixed Assets On Rent Dashboard.
How does your software help sales staff and service personnel on the road?
Alert’s Mobile Reports allows field personnel to access any number of useful reports on the go. We also offer scheduled reports, which allow offsite services such as accountants to access the system without having to really access the system. We’re continually generating new ways to get information while out in the field, and as always, our users are driving what information they need to see.
What are some of your long-range thoughts about where software is going a few years down the road?
We’re going to see more and more mobile features. While rental is still mostly done at the traditional rental counter, the people working that counter and the people they’re servicing are more accustomed to getting work done on the go.