While you commonly hear about focus on economies of scale to gain operational efficiencies, leveraging network management expertise for economies of skills can provide you even more value. Relying on dedicated specialists who oversee the full range of network issues on a daily basis across hundreds of land mobile radio mission-critical systems worldwide helps reduce potential problems and improve incident resolution in the shortest possible time.
With increased application adoption and multimedia data analytics becoming the norm, user needs are rapidly changing. As a result, network and management complexity increases. Application performance can have a very real and significant impact on operational performance. Therefore, it is increasingly essential for IT organizations to move from traditional reactive approaches and start proactively managing and optimizing performance.
Perhaps you’re facing this challenge with your own operations, needing more specialist tools and skills to ensure mission-critical systems are constantly available. Finding engineers with the required skill set is an increasing challenge which can result in higher costs and insufficient coverage for 24-hour mission-critical operations. While most services companies promise to deliver constant uptime for your network, very few have the required breadth and depth of technical knowledge, skills, tools and geographical coverage to be considered true network specialists. Any consideration of outsourcing to these organizations can have considerable risk over any perceived gains – especially cost savings which can be potentially depleted by a single incident not properly managed and resolved.
Suboptimal network practices result in downtime, reduce security, degrade application performance and ultimately increase costs.
Our specialist teams at the Motorola Solutions’ Network Operations Centers help customers achieve improved performance – monitoring networks in real-time and managing events before they can impact the system. When every second counts, we are ready with the extensive domain expertise about the performance of your network and the resources to provide you optimal support quickly and accurately for everything from the routine checks to the most complex issues.
Robert D. Buethe, MSSSI Vice President Americas Managed and Support Services
In the US, 40 of the 50 states operate on a statewide radio network. These systems bring tremendous value to radios users. For the 34 states operating on the ASTRO 25 network, agencies across states reap benefits including
However, as with any move from pure self-governance to operating on a shared system, agencies often express concerns over giving up control to a larger network. One of the issues commonly discussed is “what happens to communities on a statewide system when an event takes down communications on the larger network?” What happens if a natural or manmade disaster impairs network communications between an agency’s radio and console sites, and the the core? If that happens, how do agencies relying on mission-critical communications even stay in contact with their own jurisdiction?
Every ASTRO 25 system is built with multiple levels of redundancy and fallback modes to protect against communication loss. To address the serious consequence of network failure at the statewide level, Motorola Solutions offers Edge Availability. This gives agencies the ability to retain full wireline dispatch communication within their community even if they are completely disconnected from their regional or statewide system. Put another way, Edge Availability is the ability of the system to transfer control from the core out to the network edges in the event there is a network transport failure to the core or a fault with the core. For those readers familiar with ASTRO 25 site trunking fallback mode, Edge Availability provides an alternative to maintain trunking operation across the agency’s local sites with wireline console operation.
Here’s an example. The community of Anytown subscribes to their statewide P25 system for their public safety communication needs. The Anytown dispatch center also connects into the statewide system to provide local dispatch service to Anytown. If an upstate tornado takes out the network transport links to the statewide system, Anytown will maintain full dispatch and voice radio communications within their community.
With Edge Availability on the ASTRO 25 system, you have the advantage of interoperability across the state and can feel secure in knowing that events outside of your community will not interrupt your local communications.
Jean Flanagan is the North America ASTRO 25 Customer Solutions Manager at Motorola Solutions
Dairy cows nuzzle the thick grass of Waukesha County, an agrarian landscape just east of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is part farm community, part industry and business epicentre, and part tourist destination - did you know that the City of Waukesha is the birthplace of Les Paul and that fans refer to Waukesha as Guitar Town? Waukesha is home to more than 390,000 people. It has everything from nature trails to a bustling interstate highway system. Its close proximity to the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County means public safety officials require seemless communication within the greater metropolitan area.
It’s a big challenge to support the needs of the county while playing a critical role with neighbors. The Waukesha County Emergency Communications Center, for example, provides backup and support to a number of area PSAPS when their call center or supporting infrastructure becomes compromised. A few years ago, the Waukesha County Communications Center assisted with facility space and staff support for three weeks after Milwaukee County suffered from a fire that impacted their infrastructure.
Support from the Public for Public Safety
Waukesha has a strong relationship with the community it serves. Through public survey, the county has established its strategic initiatives where in ‘A safe county’ received 40% support and ranked as the top priority of its constituents. Therefore, 40 cents on every county tax levy dollar collected has been budgeted to public safety supporting the community’s recommendation. In carrying this out further, local Police Departments and the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department operate a popular education program; in which county members participate to learn how their community is protected.
With public safety being a priority for the county, administrators have created and implemented a strategic plan in order to maintain existing and plan for future infrastructure needs. In identifying the effective life cycle of the outgoing analog systems environment, the county committed a percentage of budget each year to prepare for that changeover.
Careful planning meant the county was financially set for the change, but selecting and implementing new systems presented a new set of challenges. We had a number of goals to reach:
Focus on Community Safety
On any given day, the county can experience a serious interstate highway incident, incidents spilling over from neighboring counties, workplace accidents, or visitors in trouble or hurt on a nature trail. Dispatchers need tools at their fingertips that can help them immediately identify a callers’ location, and get that information out into the field as quickly and accurately as possible. First responders need assistance in getting to specific locations, particularly in remote hard-to-access areas, and this vital information about an incident increases their efficiency and ability to handle the situation once they arrive.The Next Generation 9-1-1 solution we fully vetted and ultimately selected provides us with the tools needed to effectively and efficiently support our operations. In doing so, the feature rich system allowed us to overcome a few additional challenges as well. For example, the system can:
As envisioned, this high performing system will help everyone, (callers, dispatchers, public safety responders) during an emergency, helping to facilitate the best possible outcome.
Gary Bell is Director of Emergency Preparedness, Waukesha County 9-1-1 Center
Waukesha is among the first to adopt this advanced system in Wisconsin, and the hard work in selecting and implementing the new solution is paving the way for emergency services departments throughout the state. A mix of thoughtful planning and pre-planning made their decision easier and the transition seamless.
Find out more about Waukesha’s NG9-1-1 transition at National Emergency Numbers Association (NENA) 2016. We will be featured in the NENA session: Implementing NG9-1-1 The Importance of Operationally Enabling New Technologies