With a strong industry reputation, burgeoning client list and a product the hospitality industry wants, TraknProtect recently set about finding an experienced leader to help strengthen the organization’s technology bench. The person it found was Tim Hansen, and we recently spent five minutes with him to discuss how cutting-edge technology can assist in some very human outcomes, how he’s mapping out the future engineering of safety buttons, and why he finds the occasional chaos of a high energy startup irresistible.
Tim Hansen barely hesitates when asked what attracted him to TraknProtect. “To come into this company now, as relatively young as TraknProtect is, having won such an impressive client list, was just extremely impressive to me. The company has achieved some truly great traction in the market place, and when you consider the great potential, and where we can be in a year when we’re refining our operations and engineering to operate on a much bigger scale, well….” he trails off at the potential. But Hansen isn’t a dreamer, rather he’s a strategist and he likes to build. “It’s why I became interested in software I think, because I love to build things — not just teams, companies and software – but I truly love to have a comprehension of how things tick.” He reasons that if he can understand a problem and understand it internally, then he can also understand how he can improve on it. It’s the perfect qualification for a CTO brought into the company to help TraknProtect scale its software and hardware engineering processes at a time when the company is rapidly growing. Already with a strong reputation for helping improve and simplify the complexities of hospitality inventory tracking, in recent years the company received a substantial boost from the widespread adoption of safety buttons through both legislation and the policies of the major hotel chains . “TraknProtect has achieved some really great things up to this point, and to get to the next level requires the ability to grow our engineering processes,” Hansen notes. “My initial objective is to mature and develop our software and hardware development and, along the way, keep the company abreast of the technology if there prove to be better opportunities to provide our customers with more efficient solutions.” That task of optimizing an organization’s engineering process to its customers isn’t new to Hansen who brings to TraknProtect a deep background in software security, compliance and innovation — from the fledging ideas of disruptors to more mature engineering processes. “Crazy as it sounds, I love a little bit of that chaos that occurs in a startup organization,” he says. “I’ve always loved the hands-on aspect of the startup model because it keeps me more connected to the technology and you can think, from an architecture standpoint, about where you’re at today, where you need to get to, and build that roadmap about how you can increment to get there,” he explains. “If I don’t feel I have that direct connection I need to really understand the challenges, then I’m probably not going to have the solution to help it grow.” Hansen says he’s particularly excited about engineering the next version of the safety button and being able to improve and redesign the hardware from input learned from the initial product. He also acknowledges that the application for the solution are limitless. “There are some very real market expansion opportunities here – healthcare, education, a host of industry verticals that could really benefit,” he says, with the kind of entrepreneurial enthusiasm that has become a TraknProtect hallmark. “It’s really motivating when you’re in the mindset of ‘okay, so we’ve got a whiteboard, let’s think about what we need to do, and then let’s develop it and then let’s refine it,” he adds. Yet technology for technology’s sake isn’t an idea Hansen has much time for. “I think my passion for working with disruptive technologies is that you have the ability to really show value to the end user. It’s great to say, “well, we’re using the latest technology”, the important thing to me is that you’re actually using it for a purpose.” It’s a belief he developed working in the value-based healthcare space, where the technology he was developing enabled the decoding of diverse and complex streams of data which could be then be presented to medical professionals in the kind of concise and comprehensible way that could drive direct results on a patient’s care program. “There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes from realizing that the outcome of the technology solution I’m developing is having a direct effect on people’s lives, and I have that same feeling at TraknProtect where our safety button is dramatically affecting the personal safety outcomes of so many hospitality workers,” he says. “As fast as we’re now growing, I don’t think any of us are losing sight of the importance of that, and that’s where our technology can really make a difference.”