Public safety software plays an important role in the lives of public servants everywhere. During a time of building companies and selling to bigger companies, how do mergers and acquisitions help and hurt the industry? Since the market for public safety software isn’t overrun, what happens when these companies merge or are acquired by another company?
The merging and acquisition of companies creates a lot of changes, but mostly for the smaller companies. The main benefit for the local, smaller company is that the owner makes a lot of money when they sell, but that is just about it.
There are always negatives to companies combining, regardless of the method. The most notable issue in a free market is that it reduces competition, making prices higher. The more competition there is in the market, the lower the prices. It also creates more super-companies that are so big, smaller companies struggle to compete. Even if they have a great product, they might not have the capital to get their name out.
When companies become too big, they stop caring as much about the clients they serve. Software companies that are locally owned and operated are more motivated to help their clients. There is less focus on charging top dollar and know the importance of providing excellent customer service. People who have passion and really believe in their product usually work in locally run companies, not big corporations who have lost touch with their agencies.
This passion benefits the officers and other public service members who use the software, which in turn benefits the public. Dispatchers can use police department software and trust that any concerns they have will be addressed quickly and completely. This helps systems run more efficiently, helping police officers, dispatch centers, and jail managers work faster.
Locally owned web based police software companies can still come up with a unique and needed niche in the software market. Chances are high that if their product and developing is good enough and proves its place, the larger companies will offer to buy them and incorporate their advantages into their programs too. The problem is that it just makes it harder for smaller companies to get noticed before they run out of funds.
While not all companies will survive in the public safety software market, the ones that do not get bought out by big companies have something to prove to their customers. This results in better customer service, lower prices, and more focused attention. Those who believe in their work and want to make the public safer while supporting public servants do their jobs better. The passion is what drives smaller companies to do their jobs and do them well.