02 Apr Updated: Singlewire forms to focus on mass notification and physical security systems
MADISON – Singlewire Software announced its formation to build applications for the unified communications and physical security markets. Singlewire bought the assets of Berbee Software, including the InformaCast family of IP notification applications, from CDW Corporation. Singlewire Software will continue to enhance the InformaCast platform to include the integration of its notification technology into the physical security market. The company will be headquartered in Madison.
The company, formed by former executives of Berbee and CDW, was financed by a small group of private investors. Singlewire President and CEO Paul Shain would not comment of the details of the transaction with CDW, nor the new company’s financing.
“We are buying an established business with an exceptional growth prospects,” said Shain. “The product was developed in early 2000 and accelerated post 9-11, in association with the federal government in that many buildings did not have overhead paging systems.”
This revelation launched work on an IP-based paging network, Shain said, noting, “Everyone involved recognized that in order for this technology to move forward, we needed to bring increased focus to this effort. Consolidating under Singlewire Software was the best means to do this.”
Singlewire will develop and support innovative, IP-based voice applications centered on secure, fast, and reliable mass notification capabilities, especially during emergency situations. These applications are designed to detect incidents within an organization, notify people or systems of such incidents, and activate the necessary systems to resolve the situation. Product features include enterprise-wide paging, emergency mass notification, remote detection of incidents on an IP network (or activating RFID tags and IP video cameras and sending audio and text messages to IP phones and desktop workstations), and remote control of IP phones for training and support. Singlewire Software applications are now used by over 2,000 businesses in 35 countries.
“We built and expanded the product to enable it to desktop computers as well as Cisco and other IP-based phones.” explained Shain. “This technology has been further developed to new applications such as being able open door systems, page or launch alerts and has morphed into the physical local security space.”
Singlewire’s InformaCast product, for example, can integrate with other products to act when alarms sound. Local municipalities have integrated the product to reverse escalators in buildings, when smoke detectors go off and a fire is detected, said Shain.
Berbee’s software engineering and sales team was originally formed under Berbee Information Networks Corporation in 1998 with a mission to create software applications for the IP or data network of organizations. InformaCast, the group’s flagship application, was used extensively as an emergency mass notification system after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Berbee application group, operating as “Berbee Software,” along with the parent company, Berbee Information Networks Corporation, was acquired by CDW Corporation in October 2006. While the Berbee application group has been acquired by Singlewire Software, all other portions of the former Berbee Information Networks Corporation remain with CDW and form the heart of CDW’s Advanced Technology Services offerings.
“The Berbee Software team will best be able to maximize the current and future potential of InformaCast and other key applications by being organized into this new company,” stated John A. Edwardson, chairman and chief executive officer, CDW Corporation. “CDW will continue as a key hardware provider for Singlewire customers.”
Joining Shain, former CEO of Berbee and former Senior VP at CDW, at Singlewire is Ken Bywaters, current practice manager for Berbee Software, who will be executive vice president of product management under the new firm. Greg Sliwicki, former president of Berbee and former VP of sales at CDW will become executive vice president of sales and marketing, and Brett Rimkus, former chief financial officer at Berbee and former CDW vice president of business development joins Singlewire as chief financial officer. In addition, a 22-member engineering and sales team currently supporting the applications as Berbee Software will become employees of Singlewire Software.