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        Published 35 days ago by Robert Buethe
        • System Management
        • Services

        Let’s start with a stat: 80% of government IT leaders experienced at least 1 critical network outage in the last 3 months.1

        Public safety mission critical systems have to stay available 24 x 7 x 365.  Period.  A public safety system is not a “normal” IT network. Your technology needs to keep first responders safe and needs to be uniquely supported and managed to operate under all circumstances and events – planned or unplanned. You have to prepare to fail.

        Understanding how your system operates in various failure modes is critical. How well can you identify an outage versus a maintenance check? What types of contingency plans do you have defined in your organization and with third-party vendors and agencies? How often are you accessing wireless coverage information to ensure you don’t have any new blind spots from when the system was first installed? If and when a failure does happen, how responsive you are to minimizing the downtime can make a significant difference in the outcome you experience.

        Mission-critical network management takes rigor and expertise that requires a comprehensive approach with the right team, processes and tools. Read more about best practices you need to adopt in our whitepaper: Critical Steps to Prevent Network Downtime.

        SOURCES: 1. 2016 Survey by the Center for Digital Government.

        Robert D. Buethe is MSSSI Global Vice President for Managed and Support Services


        Published 43 days ago by Robert Buethe
        • System Management
        • Cybersecurity
        • Services

        Like it or not, even the best technology is destined to fail. With the rapid increase of demands placed on your mission-critical communications infrastructure -- such as adding new applications, expanding users, changing coverage needs or prioritizing data requirements -- outages are inevitable. Fortunately, organizations don’t have to be crippled in handling these challenges. 

        Developing continuity plans or disaster management plans is not a new concept; yet many tend to delay addressing this need until something bad happens. 

        What are you doing differently this year to stay better prepared? Applying best practices to maintaining and operating your critical communications system can provide better outcomes to improve your staff performance, system continuity and your bottom line.  

        How are you evaluating your risk of cyber attacks? Land mobile radio systems are not an exception to hacking and malware.  Ransomware continues to be an increasingly costly threat and expected to remain the top cyber malware threat in 2017. Are you vigilant with monitoring this constantly-evolving cyber landscape and incorporating effective situational awareness into your resilience plan? If not now…when?  Cybersecurity remains a top challenge and priority for CIOs – don’t ignore your land mobile radio system. By understanding which threats can impact your system, you can plan the appropriate response to cyber attacks. Plan an assessment to help you discover vulnerabilities and best practices to employ. And, invest in a streamlined patching process to help mitigate the threats. 

        Do you understand your system’s performance indicators and how to take action? Knowing what factors can influence call processing, coverage, equipment stability, false alarms, etc. provides an opportunity to analyze trends and optimize performance.  What if you could correlate system information with external data sources to predict how your critical communications system will operate in various operating scenarios?  Our recent webinar on Leveraging Performance Data for Operational Excellence explains more about how we’re working with customers to leverage data analytics and improve their system performance for better uptime and connectivity. 

        Is your network management fully automated? One of the easiest areas to improve network management efficiencies is with proper network monitoring and alerting to detect and diagnose problems. Not all system alerts are created equal. While there is a plethora of monitoring tools available on the market, it requires a combination of tools and skills to understand system behaviors.  Knowing which alerts are important and having the knowledge database to effectively prioritize and respond correctly the first time can save thousands of staff hours in a year. 

        What’s your maintenance process? If you’re applying the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy and letting your system run on auto-pilot, you’re increasing your chances to experience something bad happening that’s going to potentially be even more costly.  Routine preventive maintenance is worth the investment to extend the lifespan of your technology and ensure optimal interoperability. Planned upgrades are also critical to ensure your system is able to support the increasing volume of data from the myriad of applications adopted. 

        Are you facing staffing challenges? Radio network management expertise is retiring faster than it can be replaced. Hiring comprehensive Cybersecurity expertise may be budget constraining in today’s competitive market.  No one knows Motorola Solutions’ mission-critical networks better than Motorola Solutions. We are ready to assist you with over 4,000 specialists worldwide dedicated to ensure our customers’ mission critical systems are reliably operating 24x7x365 – spanning 100+ countries managing over 500,000 devices and over 10,000 sites.

        I could go on with the list of questions to consider. It’s always a good practice to take some time and reflect how your organization is changing this year and ensure you have the right support in place.

        Robert D. Buethe is MSSSI Global Vice President for Managed and Support Services