The single most important public service that the ZEDE Ciudad Morazán offers its tenants is a secure environment to live, work, and play. In a region known for its high crime rate and expensive gated communities, a new city built for blue-collar Honduran workers must get the security right.
Ciudad Morazán started with a wall to limit entry into its private property, but that was just the first step. A perimeter road and a system of security cameras were other vital steps. The human guards who protect the tenants had to be hired and trained. That was handled by a top-notch security company, Global Protect Security. However, the most crucial step may be providing innovative tools and training on those tools to make the guards most effective.
Ciudad Morazán has hired a state-of-the-art software company, Double GDP, to develop innovative solutions that enable the city’s most effective and efficient management.
On June 16, 2021, Double GDP’s Product Manager, Minza Zahid, and her team held a first in-person meeting with Ciudad Morazán’s Diego Zúniga, representatives of Global Protect Security, and some of the senior guards in the city. The purpose was to introduce the security app to the guards and get feedback about ways to customize it to make it most effective for their specific needs.
Ms. Zahid led the meeting in English, with Mr. Zúniga interpreting in Spanish. She started by introducing Double GDP and clarifying her understanding of the goals of the project. She described two equally important objectives.
The most apparent objective was to prevent any unauthorized entry that could present danger or problems for the community’s inhabitants. But equally important, that goal had to be reached without inconvenience to the tenants. An exceptional user experience is a top value for Ciudad Morazán. Clearing people for entry could not be intrusive or time-consuming but had to be fool-proof.
Ms. Zahid explained that the app she was demonstrating to them had just the basic functionality but could be modified and would have additional features added over time as they discovered what worked best to achieve the two goals.
Although there is a public area of Ciudad Morazán along the entry road, everyone who goes through the gate to the residential, industrial, and civic regions must be registered in the app.
Registration includes a profile that identifies the tenant or worker. These profiles are entered by administrators of the city and have photo id. Once they are set up, it is easy for the guard to scan in the person, especially if someone is personally known to the guard. If not personally known, there are several ways to find the profile.
The guards were deeply engaged in the process of learning the app and had good questions and suggestions. One of the first suggestions was to include a field in the profile to describe the car that the person typically drives. If a tenant happened to enter the city in a different vehicle, the guard could note it in the notes field. The car field is also helpful for one-time visitors because it makes it easier to find that person within the city, if necessary.
Only people without prior authorization require a phone call for approval and registration at the gate. The New Visit function in the app is for when a person enters for the first time. For example, when a registered person brings in a first-time guest, the guard scans in the registered person and then adds the guest using the New Visit option.
The final part of the training explained that the guards’ phones with the app would have to be left charging at the guard station at the end of their shifts. Although the guards have radios to call each other, they will also use the phones to contact each other. However, they will not have the capability of being used for personal calls.
This first meeting is considered a great success by all involved. The clear communication bodes well for achieving both goals for Ciudad Morazán.