Petra Cleanup Managed with Smartphones and Microsoft Azure Services

Feb 21, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 21, 2019 – EastBanc Technologies, a Microsoft Gold-Certified partner, announced today that during Petra, which buried the Mid-Atlantic region earlier this week, it pitted modern technology against Mother Nature and won.

As Montgomery Country, a suburb of both Baltimore and Washington, D.C., watched the flakes fly, the county activated its snowstorm management SnowIQ system. Developed by EastBanc Technologies, SnowIQ was built to optimize snowplow operations and clear roads faster while giving planners and first responders greater situational awareness during snow emergencies.

“Petra may have dumped four inches, but MCDOT Highway Services stayed on top,” says Peter Shashkin, Director of Solutions at EastBanc Technologies. “SnowIQ uses smartphones running our Xamarin-based cross-platform app, developed using Xamarin Studio, and the power of Microsoft Azure services to take the guesswork out of snow removal efforts.”

Azure services, such as Azure Service Fabric and Azure Event Hub, enable rapid scale of operations when storms strike and hundreds of snowplows need to be deployed in the field while being monitored in real time by storm supervisors. The data pipeline, originated at the snowplow status and reporting all the way to the business intelligence reports for performance analysis, is supported by Azure’s data processing facilities, ranging from scalable NoSQL storage, such as Azure Cache for Redis and Azure Cosmos DB, all the way to the Azure SQL Databases supporting OLTP and data warehousing workloads.

Using a combination of smart device-based GPS and cloud technology, SnowIQ provided a 360-degree view of the county’s overall snow removal fleet. The system gave snowplow drivers and contractors, hired to help with the storm cleanup, plow assignments on their mobile smartphones. Supervisors could track their progress in real time, dispatching additional plows where they were needed. The result was safer driving conditions in Montgomery County. Main roads were plowed within hours of the storm hitting. Supervisors estimate road cleanup on side streets will continue today.

“Our drivers are in love with SnowIQ because it makes their jobs so much easier,” said Reza Zarif, information technology specialist for Montgomery County. “We like it because it saves money, reduces the number of contractors needed, and improves efficient cleanup after a storm like this.”

Residents got in on the technology action too. Montgomery County’s Winter Storm Portal kept citizens appraised on the storm’s status and when their street would likely be cleared. That transparency meant significantly fewer service requests from frustrated residents.

SnowIQ was developed after a January storm in 2016 left more than 1 million residents in the D.C. suburb stranded for a week. This time around, snowdrifts were beat out by smartphones.

SnowIQ, powered by TERRAiQ and developed by EastBanc Technologies, is offered to organizations on a per-vehicle subscription basis as Software-as-a-Service. There is no hardware to acquire, no software to manage, just a simple, cloud-delivered solution leveraging the mobile computing power of the devices already in the hands of those who provide services to our communities. Read more at

EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems, whether on-premises or in the cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with public and private-sector clients to solve their most difficult technology challenges.


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Contact: Liz Smeds

To learn more about SnowIQ or EastBanc Tech services and products visit or