Weather Decision Technologies in Norman Celebrates 10 Years
by admin, on May 25, 2010 11:34:15 AM
BY JENNIFER PALMER, Oklahoman
Published: May 25, 2010
NORMAN — It’s not a coincidence that Weather Decision Technologies is located in the heart of Tornado Alley, right across from the National Severe Storms Laboratory.
The company, which began 10 years ago as a small startup, taps into those nearby resources, from tornadoes swirling outside their door to the city’s talented meteorologists and University of Oklahoma graduates.
On a recent sunny afternoon, WDT marked a decade in business with a party at its office. Workers were eager to show their high-tech weather map on a giant touch-screen television or preview new apps on their iPhones.
Company President and CEO Mike Eilts said he’s proud the company has weathered a stock market crash, Enron’s collapse and an economic recession while continuing to grow. WDT has 65 employees in five states.
Ninety-five percent of the company’s revenue comes from out of state, said Eilts, who founded WDT with five others in 2000.
WDT’s primary product is iMap. The company "ingests” weather data from numerous sources and uses it to customize a map for their customers, which are national and local media outlets, international governments, airports and others, said chief marketing officer Matthew Piette.
"We’re always looking at ways to make weather attractive to the consumer,” he said.
An iPhone app created by WDT is expected to launch in 90 days and change the way people respond to tornado and severe weather warnings, said Mike Gauthier, senior vice president of sales.
Just like the weather warnings that interrupt television programming, the iMap Weather Radio will emit a warning no matter where the user is and for the exact location of that person, no matter what he or she is doing. It can also be programmed to automatically call loved ones and link to local media weather broadcasts.
And since an iPhone is portable, unlike most television sets, users may be able to continue receiving weather updates while inside a storm shelter.
"We think it’s a game changer,” Eilts said.