3 Aug

Known for software, Transfinder now in hardware business

Known for software, Transfinder now in hardware business

From Albany Times Union / By Larry Rulison / Aug. 2, 2023

SCHENECTADY - Transfinder, the company best known for making bus routing software for school systems across the country, is no longer just in the software business.

The company has jumped into the computer hardware business as well. And Transfinder appears to be pretty good at it.

Transfinder recently won two Innovation Choice Awards, one for best software and one for best hardware, at the STN EXPO in Reno, Nev., a large trade show for the school transportation industry. The expo was held last month.

It's the first time that Transfinder won an award there for best hardware, and it's the second time in a row that Transfinder won for best software, which in itself is tough to do, especially since companies that win have to have rolled out a new product offering in the category since the last awards were held.

"From the software side, it gets challenging, it's not a slam dunk," Transfinder CEO Antonio Civitella said Tuesday during a phone interview. "The hardware (award) is exciting."

The hardware that Transfinder has started offering its school district clients is its own branded industrial-grade Samsung tablet that loads Transfinder's Wayfinder software that provides turn-by-turn directions for bus drivers on their student routes. The tablet also has an RFID reader that can instantly scan student IDs as they get on and off the bus, instead of the driver having to manually check students in as they get on the bus.

Civitella says school districts are increasingly asking their technology vendors if they can get services and products from one source so when there are questions or issues, they don't have to go to multiple vendors to problem solve for them. So Transfinder decided to get into the hardware business as well.

"They really want one vendor to provide it all," Civitella said. "We pivoted and said lets provide them everything from A to Z."