Why Successful Companies Partner with Nlets and How It's Done
Why Successful Companies Partner with Nlets (and How It's Done)
By Cris Marquardt
As law enforcement agencies across the U.S. have downsized and outsourced, the processes for police officers on the street have become more and more specialized, enabling faster, more effective transmission of crucial information. To support this effort, Nlets has selected a few for-profit companies in the justice field to partner with to promote the benefit of the community.
These strategic partners give Nlets the opportunity to deliver better products and improved services to our members: the men and women in law enforcement.
Nlets is proud to have created strong public/private partnerships with organizations that support law enforcement and first responders. Strategic partnerships support our core business by serving the needs of our members, and they allow qualified companies to securely and appropriately use the national and international reach of Nlets, for the benefit of the justice community.
The selection process, which determines which companies can partner with Nlets, is rather straightforward. We look for companies that serve the justice and public safety enterprise by offering services that the Nlets community requires to accomplish its mission, such as:
- Traffic Enforcement/Commercial Vehicle Speed, RLC, School Zone/Bus Stop Arm, Commercial Vehicle, Toll Violation
- Message Switch System With interfaces such as; Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), Computerized Criminal History (CCH), Department of Corrections (DOC), Sex Offender Registry (SOR), and more!
- CAD & RMS 911, Dispatch, Records, Mobile, Jail, Courts
- Regional Property Information Database Pawn, Secondhand, Scrap metal
- Critical Infrastructure & Military Installation Identity Management, Credentialing, Vetting/Background Check
- Officer Handheld Device Terminal software with wireless access to NCIC, Nlets, and/or state data
- VIN, Impound, Lien Holder Data, OCRA (Mexican stolen vehicle)
- LoJack stolen vehicle recovery system
- ASAP to PSAP, Automated Secure Alarm Protocol to Public Safety Answering Points
Over 50% of Nlets Strategic Partners host within Nlets’ CJIS-audited and compliant facility. Hosting with Nlets enables these partners to not only utilize Nlets’ cutting edge facility and/or cloud platform, but also allows them direct access to the Nlets message switch and trusted network, a unique offering available only through Nlets.
A recent survey showed that companies partner with Nlets for many reasons:
- State/local comfort level with Nlets
- Network and system reliability
- Trusted environment of Nlets
- Nlets is audited by CJIS
- Exceptional 24/7 support by the Nlets Service Center
- Time and resource efficiencies
The steps to become a Strategic Partner consist of a complex vetting process developed to ensure that each new partner will assist us in broadening the range and quality of products and services available to our members.
The Nlets Board of Directors reviews requests for Nlets Strategic Partnership at each spring and fall Board meeting. If a request for partnership is a new concept, it is the responsibility of the Technical Operations Committee (TOC) to review and approve the technical concept. A pilot may be requested prior to the TOC granting approval for the potential partner to go before the Nlets Board of Directors.
So, how do potential strategic partners get in front of the Board of Directors?
It begins with outreach and discovery. We take steps to learn about their company, technology, and business use case. In turn, we tell them about our technology, security, and explain the governance requirements of working with Nlets.
On the financial front, our team is busy reviewing and validating their audited financials, three to five year projection, business references, and agency sponsorship. This is necessary to determine the financial liquidity, stability, reputation, pending legal action if any, and overall suitability of the company for Strategic Partnership.
During this courtship, we work behind the scenes to prepare documentation required for the partnership portfolio that we present to the Nlets Board in advance of their prospective partnership presentation.
Each prospective partner is provided a 15-30 minute time slot on the Board agenda: They will introduce their company, explain the impetus for seeking partnership, and discuss how partnership will benefit the community.
Once Board/Committee approval has been granted, the Nlets PMO Manager schedules a project kick-off call and the real process begins!
Nlets Security Services first performs a series of security assessments and works with the prospective partner’s team to ensure they pass all aspects of the Nlets audit prior to connecting to the Nlets trusted network.
Then, Nlets orders the circuit and hardware needed for connection, unless they are hosted at Nlets and directly connected. If the new partner company is not hosted at Nlets, they will coordinate installation and provide Nlets with system (web service) IP addresses. Once the equipment is in place, the Nlets Security team performs a thorough audit of the new partner connection and upon successful audit, they are approved to connect and utilize the Nlets network!
How long does it take? It varies. There is no cookie cutter timeline when working within the parameters of policy and technical architecture. What we do know is that our nimble and proficient team has expansive experience in the onboarding process, and they are ready to get started.
The Strategic Partner program is just one component of the Nlets Corporate Strategic Plan and is one of our top priorities for the company! To learn more about the Strategic Partner Program – visit www.nlets.org.
Have questions about the Strategic Partner program or know of a company you think might be a good fit? Set up a time to talk with Cris Marquardt, Nlets Business Relationship Manager.