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July 22, 2015

Trimble and Zello Collaborate on Enhanced Push-to-Talk for Construction Material Producers

For those of us of a certain age, we remember when and how push-to-talk (PTT) communications—the ability to switch from receive mode when talking to broadcast mode, where reception can be by more than one party—went from being something done with close proximity walkie-talkies to a general mobile service option. The use cases for things like public safety agencies for communications during disasters and by fleet operators and a construction sites are prime examples why such functionality remains incredibly relevant. 

In fact, this relevancy was underscored with the announcement that position and location solutions provider Sunnyvale, California-based Trimble has released with immediate availability an updated version of Trimble TrimFleet Suite for construction material producers. The latest enhancement, TrimFleet 6.5, integrates with solutions provider Trimble Zello, a push-to-talk (PTT) application, for TrimFleet Communicator—a feature of TrimView office software and TrimFleet Mobile for the in-cab display. The benefits are offering construction materials companies improved communication, collaboration and productivity. 

The interesting thing that the integration with Zello for Work is that the TrimFleet Communicator is a Voice over IP (VoIP) radio replacement. It leverages the virtual ubiquity of cellular with VoIP. In the process it helps resolve certain limitations of existing technology including connectivity, service, chatter and safety.

"Our strategy with Zello aligns with our mission to provide solutions to the construction materials industry for improved business process efficiency and collaboration," said John Rice, general manager of Trimble's Construction Logistics Division. "In addition to expanding our portfolio with a high-value voice solution, TrimFleet Communicator extends beyond traditional dispatch-driver communications."

"We are delighted that Trimble chose to work with us for TrimFleet Communicator," said Bill Moore, CEO of Zello Inc. "Our technical team has spent years creating innovative instant communication technology to satisfy a global consumer user base of more than 80 million people. Combine that with Trimble's knowledge and experience within the ready-mix and aggregate businesses, and the industry can benefit from a unique integrated communications solution designed to meet business needs."

Benefits cited for construction materials drivers using TrimFleet Communicator include:

  • The ability to talk to channels, make private point-to-point calls or make a direct call to dispatch.
  • Quick access to a list of contacts with smart search functionality, channels, emergency broadcasts and the ability to contact the truck in front within the TrimFleet Mobile application.
  • The ability to talk to a single driver, channel or other TrimView users.
  • Access to voice activity logs
  • The ability to manage channels throughout an organization from their desktop.

And, thanks to the integration with Zello for Work users can communicate from any device—allowing TrimView users to communicate while away from the desk and making TrimFleet Communicator accessible by departments other than drivers and dispatchers.

As noted at the top, PTT may seem like something you could only see in an old movie, or might remember as a fad. However, the size of the market proves that situations in which voice instant access to multiple parties is mission critical, remain numerous. This is clearly not your father’s PTT, and the use cases just keep expanding thanks to the combination of mobile networks and VoIP.


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