Weather Direct Brings Hyper Local Forecasts to Businesses

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

For construction firms, landscaping contractors, amusement parks, charter boats and many other businesses, the question “How’s the weather?” can dictate the events of the day. Lacrosse Technology helps the channel answer that question and score some revenue at the same time.

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Solution providers will find it very easy to set up a Weather Direct system. For our tests, we started off with the WD-3209U kit. Initial setup consists of installing batteries into the Weather Monitor and then plugging in the included transmitter into an Internet router.

We also installed batteries into the included remote temperature transmitter, which for our purposes we located in our server closet to monitor temperatures there. After plugging everything in, we needed to register the display and gateway at www.weatherdirect.com. Installers must create an account on the weatherdirect.com site to register the product. The products are also programmed from the weatherdirect.com site using a Web 2.0-style installation wizard. Setup is simple, yet tedious. Installers will have to remove and reinstall batteries, press registration buttons, input serial numbers and so on to set up a Weather Direct System.

Once registered, users can choose from enhanced services, such as the ability to receive weather alerts from multiple locations, or add enhanced severe weather alerts to their devices. Each of those optional services is available for a monthly fee, ranging from a few dollars to upward of $30 or more. For most users, the no-charge single-location service that comes with the unit will be more than adequate.

Installers can also program the service to send alerts via text messages or e-mails to cellular phones, a handy option for landscapers or other outdoor workers who need to be warned of impending storm conditions.

For some, Weather Direct’s array of products may amount to little more than gadgets. For others, Weather Direct’s gizmos may prove to be important business tools. It's all up to the solution provider to figure out where the products will offer the most benefit for their customers and install accordingly. La Crosse Technology does not sell direct, and interested parties will need to contact the company to find out about partner opportunities and distribution methods. Some of the company’s products are available via mail order warehouses and retail outlets.



Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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