Frequently Asked Questions
Why should we choose GeoCompanion? What are the advantages?
GeoCompanion provides comprehensive tools for the security industry focusing on usability and reliability. We can boost the capabilities of your security managers and workforce. International security providers, operating in difficult countries with GeoC products, have repeatedly confirmed the user-friendliness and reliability of our system. Further, they highlight that our system provides features, which no other companies do provide.
Our level of support is unchallenged, with an average response time of a few minutes. Our staff has worked for years in the security industry and understands the needs and the nature of operating in critical environments.
GeoCompanion offers a vast array of products and features, such as tracking, monitoring, high-quality mapping, emergency notifications, GPS tools, geographical database, GPRS and satellite based equipment, tracking equipment for personnel, vehicles and asstes, heavy duty and rugged accessories, development capabilities and much more.
We need a security system that allows us to monitor and communicate with our workforce operating in critical areas. Can you provide this?
Yes! Please contact us to elaborate a plan for the required hardware and software products. We have advised countless companies in choosing the adequate hardware, software, maps, airtime plans and IT setup for their operational area.
We require a special corporate security app for our business travelers. Can you provide or develop such an app for us?
Yes. We provide development services especially for mobile apps (iOS, Android and Windows). Please contact us to discuss the details and requirements. Most probably we can simply adjust our existing products to meet your requirements.
We are a small company and do not have an 24/7 operation center. Can GeoCompanion provide Ops Room services?
We provide limited fall back Ops Room and monitoring services to our customers. Additional long term monitoring services can be provided upon customer request.
Can you explain the subscription model?
We consult our customers to choose the best possible and most cost efficient setup. GeoCompanion offers subscription and non-subscription products.
Our software products (Pro App, WT , PT, Sat, mapping) and satellite airtime are subscription products. The regular subscription term is 12 month.
Non-subscription products are hardware such as tracking devices, satellite equipment, cases, cables, antennas, vehicle-mounting systems and our consulting services. We can ship any amount of hardware and accessory to your headquarters, regional offices or in-field personnel, per-configured and ready-to-use.
General technical questions
What is tracking and monitoring?
Personnel, vehicles or assets equipped with modern tracking technology send location reports to your headquarter using the local cellular network or the Iridium satellite network. Your Ops Room personnel or security managers can review and monitor the location of their workforce or assets in real-time and follow the journey progress. Personnel or assets are displayed as users on a map, showing their exact location, heading, speed, altitude and other relevant location-based information.
Being able to track and monitor your workforce increases the level of security and enables your security personnel to pro-actively react if personnel or assets leave defined routes or areas.
What is the difference between GPRS-based tracking and satellite-based tracking?
Tracking devices can either connect to a local cellular based (Edge, GPRS, 3G, LTE) network or to the Iridium satellite network. Both networks have advantages and disadvantages. The combination of both provides truly global tracking capability.
Smart phones and tablets such as iPads, iPhones, or Android devices establish a data connection between the device and the local cellular network. This connection can be used to interchange data between the smart phone or tablet and your headquarter. Without additional hardware smart phones and tablets are not capable to connect to a satellite network.
Iridium satellite trackers can send and receive data or establish a data connection using the Iridium satellite network. The Iridium satellite network allows personnel or assets to send and receive data from any location on earth without the need of any local telecommunication infrastructure. Satellite - based equipment is the best choice in remote areas without local infrastructure or whenever uninterrupted 24/7 communication is required.
What is online or offline mapping?
GeoCompanion provides digital maps for users of the iOS Pro app and the web-based Ops Room application.
Users of the Pro app can access online and offline maps. Online maps are streamed over the local cellular network or a WiFi network to the iOS device. Streaming maps via the local cellular network reduces your data plan unnecessary and might not be possible at all in certain areas. Therefore users have access to offline maps of countries, regions or cities which are stored locally on the device and do not require any connection to the Internet. Offline maps are available in all zoom levels and with all details, making it possible for users to browse a map even if the device is in Airplane mode. Our special mission-critical maps provide coverage of areas where other map provider do not or only have little information.
Users of the web-based Ops Room application have access to online maps. The maps are streamed over the Internet to the PC/Mac. Maps can be cached, but not permanently stored on the PC/Mac.
What is a dedicated server?
GeoCompanion provides dedicated server for each customer. We believe that each customer should have an own server for their GeoC system, because the server stores (depending on the configuration) sensitive location data. By using dedicated server for each customer we increase the level of security and system integrity and reduce the possibility that an error, network issue or hardware failure affects all users at the same time.
Depending on your preferences and the amount of users of the system we build-up standard single server systems or complex high-availability server systems with multiple physical servers in different data centers and connection to different international telecommunication carriers.
Questions to the system
Where does the GeoCompanion mapping data come from?
Our online maps are provided by MapBox, one of the leading providers for mapping solutions. Their satellite imagery is constantly updated. The street information is based on the OpenStreetMaps project.
Our mission-critical maps are provided by our partner LeadDog Consulting, a leading and long existing mapping company providing maps for critical applications. LeadDog maps are in use by governmental and humanitarian organizations across the globe.
Our on-demand satellite imagery of specific areas of interest are licensed directly from leading satellite imagery providers such as DigitalGobe, SkyBox and others.
Which operating system and hardware do you support?
Web-based Ops Room application: Optimized for Google Chrome, operating on any PC or Mac.
Pro app: iOS7 or newer, can be installed on iPad 3 or newer, iPad Mini retina, and iPhone 5 and newer
WT app: iOS7, can be installed on iPhone 4S and newer, soon also available for Android devices
Can we use our Windows PCs to operate the platform?
Yes, that is no problem. You can use any Windows PC or Macs. Large 27'inch screens are recommended for Ops Room purposes.
Do we require SIM cards for our devices?
Yes. Local or international SIM cards with suitable data plans are required to operate iPads, iPhones or Android smart phones or tablets.. All our customers prefer using locally purchased SIM cards to reduce running costs. Depending on the device type Micro or Nano SIM cards are required.
Satellite trackers do not require an Iridium SIM card, since the built-in SBD transceiver communicates directly with the Iridium servers, however, they require an Iridium SBD airtime subscription. For Iridium satellite phones such as the Iridium Extreme and the Iridium Go! a SIM card with a prepaid or postpaid Voice and Data plan are required and additionally a SBD airtime subscription if the device shall be used as tracking device.
GeoCompanion provides both SBD and Voice & Data satellite airtime.
Why is an Apple Developer Enterprise Account required?
iOS applications can either be downloaded directly from the Apple App Store with a personal user account or uploaded to corporate devices by registering with the Apple Developer Enterprise program. The Apple Developer Enterprise program enables your corporation to develop corporate iOS apps and install these on your corporate devices.
The Pro app will be licensed to your company as a corporate app, using your own Apple Developer Enterprise Program details. Updates and upgrades can easily be developed and provided to your company and all your corporate employees using a Mobile Device Management solution or a corporate Intranet App Store.
GeoCompanion will consult and assist you in the process of registration and the handling of the account, if required.
We have Iridium Extreme and Iridium Go! devices for our workforce. Can we integrate them into the platform? What about the Iridium Go!
Yes. Your corporate Iridium Extreme devices can be integrated into our platform. Your workforce can use the Iridium Extreme for normal phone satellite calls and at the same time the device can send periodical location reports to your GeoC server. The phone calls are not routed through our servers, they are totally separated from the GeoC system.
The Iridium Go! allows up to five smart phone or tablet users to connect via WiFi to the Iridium Go!, thus, you make satellite phone calls directly from those smart phones or the tablets. The Iridium GO! is an ideal companion for your workforce operating in remote places or as a fall back communication center in your Ops Room.
We have other satellite-based and GSM-based equipment from other providers. Can this equipment be re-used?
Depending on the type of hardware an integration into the GeoC platform is either possible by default or can be developed upon request (subject to additional charges). A prerequisite is that such devices are your corporate property and that the devices are not bound to a running Satellite Airtime contract ("decommissioned") with other other parties.
Please contact us to assess your current hardware setup and if this can be incorporated into the GeoC platform.
How secure are iOS devices?
Please read here in-depth information about iOS security.
How can we administer corporate iOS devices and enforce security policies?
A Mobile Device Management (MDM) offers the possibility to remotely manage all corporate iOS devices. Security and other device policies can be applied to one or all devices. Apps can be uploaded and updated remotely. Devices can be wiped in the case of loss and passwords can be reseted. Mobile Device Management solutions can significantly increase the efficiency of your IT-administration and reduce installation and support time.
GeoCompanion can consult your company or organization in the process of assessing suitable MDM solutions.
We ensure that your data is securely stored on our servers for the purpose of providing you our services. Connections between devices and servers are securely encrypted using industry-standard security mechanisms.
What kind of support do you offer?
Our support is unchallenged. We provide phone, email and live-chat support on a technical and end-user level 24/7.
As agreed upon with the customer, GeoCompanion configures the system according to the provided specifications. Further setup or configuration is not required and your Ops Room personnel or workforce can start immediately using the hardware and software.
Is a training required to operate the GeoCompanion system and its components?
Generally, a train-the-trainer session or user training is recommended before deploying the system. However depending on the application (e.g WT app) or the used hardware (e.g. Iridium Extreme satellite phone), a training might not be necessary and the user may be sufficient.
For some more complex system components such as the Pro app, we can offer you a training at a site of your preference to help you understand the collaborative tools.
We require a feature that is not available?
One of our strengths is that we can adjust our system or our apps to match your requirements. If a special feature is not available, please contact us and we can discuss further steps. If the feature is of generic use, we might implement it ourselves and provide it to all customer or develop it specifically for you.
Our adaptation services include hardware and software development. As an example, we created specific mapping overlays with geographical information for one customer and for another we incorporated existing hardware into the platform.
Contact us if you have specific questions regarding our development services (app development, website development, hardware integration, map customization or updating).
Can the platform be branded with our logo?
Yes. We can place your logo in certain parts and screens of the system and on printed reports. Upon request, we can adjust the app to match your Corporate Identity guidelines (subject to additional charges).
Can we take screen shots of the maps and use them within our own product brochures or corporate documents?
As customer you are entitled to use screen shots of maps for your own internal purposes, if all screen shots are properly labeled with our company logo and the map source. If you require map screen shots displaying on your website, selling, renting, or leasing, or mass publication or other business purposes, an agreement shall be signed prior to any use. Such agreements may involve copyright charges of the original copyright holders.
Can you provide in-country training?
Yes, we provided in-country training, installation and setup. The customer is required to provide in-country transportation, security, life-support and accommodation. In certain countries and environments in-country installation is required to adjust the system to local conditions.
Can the iPads or iPhones be used for other apps as well?
Yes, all other standard Apple apps as well as third party apps are fully functional. Our apps do not interfere with other applications nor do they hinder using them.
However, if you have a Mobile Device Management in place you can limit a device to a single app. A Mobile Device Management is optional. We can assist you in building-up such a management system.
© 2014 Copyright GeoCompanion.
All Rights Reserved.
© 2014 Map data by Mapbox, Openstreetmap, DigitalGlobe