Trimble yesterday announced that its TrimFleet 6.5 software suite integrates with push-to-talk application Zello for Work to provide customers with a “voice-over-IP radio replacement” for construction logistics.

Zello CEO Bill Moore said he is impressed with the work that Trimble’s development team has done to integrate Zello for work into the TrimFleet solution for TrimFleet Communicator, which includes an in-cab display and is designed to improve communication, collaboration and productivity.

“They have integrated Zello into their software, so it has the advantages of two-way radio—instant live voice and group communications—but it doesn’t have the disadvantages, like distance or security,” Moore said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Zello is popular wherever Nextel and carrier push-to-talk is. The value proposition is pretty simple—push to talk that is independent of any particular device or any particular carrier. It works on Wi-Fi and a broad variety of platforms.”

Zello is a popular consumer application and Zello for Work is used by companies that have reliable Internet access, Moore said. In addition, the application can be used on private networks that do not access the Internet, he said.

“Lots of organizations use a licensed version where they don’t have access to Internet,” Moore said. “So, we’re in some mine applications or it’s installed on ships. There are military applications, where they just don’t want any dependency on the Internet for security or control, because they don’t have it as an option.

 “The licensed version is typically installed on a virtual machine, on hardware that the company supplies. A $1,000 PC will support 30,000 users—it’s really pretty efficient. So, with that and a private network or a Wi-Fi network, we’re ready to go.”

Zello’s three largest market sectors are transportation, hospitality and retail, Moore said. Teaming with Trimble is expected to greatly increase Zello’s presence in the construction industry, he said.

John Rice, general manager of Trimble’s Construction Logistics Division, expressed optimism about the impact that the Zello integration will have on customers.

“Our strategy with Zello aligns with our mission to provide solutions to the construction-materials industry for improved business process efficiency and collaboration,” Rice said in a prepared statement. “In addition to expanding our portfolio with a high-value voice solution, TrimFleet Communicator extends beyond traditional dispatch-driver communications.”

Drivers using TrimFleet Communicator, have the ability to talk to channels, make private point-to-point calls or make a direct call to dispatch, according to a Trimble press release. They also have 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, according to the company.