In February 2020, at the National Electronic Monitoring Workshop in Seattle, Archipelago and other electronic monitoring (EM) service providers started a conversation about hurdles within the EM industry that were limiting the growth of EM across the globe. This conversation led to the creation of this project which has brought together many of the world’s top EM service providers.

CEA Consulting was hired to lead this project with the guidance of a Steering Committee consisting of leaders from various EM service providers. A Technical Working Group with representatives from thirteen EM service providers offered feedback and technical guidance throughout the project.

Representatives of the Customer Advisory Panel provided input during the early phases of this project and on an initial draft of this document. While some of the recommendations and findings in this report have been presented before in EM literature, this document is unique in that it was developed through consultation with companies that compose a large portion of the EM provider community. There is generally good alignment among EM service providers on issues relevant to the EM market, but each individual organization has its own business model and varying levels of support for the recommendations of this report.

The first area interest for Archipelago in this project was the creation of recommendations to improve the request for proposal process. The second was the creation of standards across the EM industry for the interoperability of competitor’s EM systems.

Having a standard, fully scoped proposal process will benefit all parties as it will ensure that the program requirements are explicit and well-understood by all service providers bidding on a project. Having standardized and explicit requirements in the bids will allow providers to prepare very focused proposals and customers to more easily compare the incoming proposals. Without this process, proposals may be quite variable in their interpretation which makes comparison of bids, especially costs, very difficult. This also ensure that all parties are clear on the program expectations, making roll-out and execution easier.

For many years, Archipelago has recognized the importance to the EM marketplace of interoperability both in field systems and in data processing. This is a need that will allow programs to more easily scale up from small or pilot projects to operational EM programs. Recognizing the importance of this feature, Archipelago has also already taken steps to facilitate interoperability with our review software (EM Interpret) and the move to a standards-based approach will accelerate this process. This approach will benefit the organizations developing new or expanding existing systems and will benefit all stakeholders in the long run.

We are grateful to Net Gains Alliance for funding this work and look forward to the advancements of the EM industry as a whole. If you are interested in learning more about this project or the outcomes by the working group, please reach out to us to discuss how these advancements can help in your own EM projects or EM initiatives.