Global security and government infrastructure firm Intergraph is entering a commercial partnership with the NZ Police to develop and find global markets for a police-developed software application that cuts the time police officers need to spend on paperwork, schedules tasks and gives officers in the field fast access to information.

Representatives of the police and Intergraph signed an intellectual property sharing agreement at police headquarters in Wellington that will see Intergraph invest "hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, millions of dollars over time" to further develop the OnDuty app, which is used by iPhone6-wielding Kiwi coppers who helped develop it.

Steven Cost, the Alabama-based president of Intergraph's security, government and infrastructure segment said: "We really hope this becomes a supercharged innovation environment."

The key to OnDuty's development had been putting police IT developers and front-line police officers together to develop the OnDuty app, which seeks not just to speed up existing official processes, but also to re-engineer them for use as a mobile tool.


For example, standard forms that a police officer might fill out on a computer in an office were not simply transferred to the mobile app.

"We are trying to get staff touching the screen no more than they need to," said police deputy chief executive Mark Evans. "We're trying to re-engineer business processes rather than replicating the forms. We've gone back to first principles.

"Everything we're delivering has been designed by frontline staff, with them in mind."

Rather than officers having to seek information by radio or mobile phone from a central communications office, OnDuty allowed a range of information routinely required in the field to be pulled up, although Evans said this was not a "big data" play.

Under the deal, police will transfer all IP rights to the OnDuty suite of applications to Intergraph, with Intergraph providing development resources for three to five years in return.

The police will earn royalties income based on the value of sales by Intergraph.

"The global reach of an organisation such as Intergraph will ensure the best possible exposure for the intellectual property developed in collaboration with NZ Police," Evans said.

BusinessDesk receives funding from Callaghan Innovation to assist coverage of the commercialisation of innovation.