1. Is Your School Safe? Have a Plan to be Prepared
2. Making the Basics Better by Innovating Something Special
3. The 5th C of Land Mobile Radio: Capabilities
4. We Can Measure the Business Impact of Learning
5. How Loud is Too Loud? Why You Shouldn’t Take Hearing Protection Lightly
Every year, we look back at the blogs we’ve published and pick our ten favorites. Motorola’s Jenn Mesenbrink has the Top Ten in 2014 for Public Safety. Looking at our Enterprise blogs this year, there were some great topics covered by experts who provided some really insightful, helpful information. Instead of choosing ten blogs, however, I’ve decided to shamelessly ride the coattails of comedian Chris Rock’s new movie, “Top Five,” which is in theaters now and take a look at the Top Five blogs from Motorola’s Fresh Ideas in Enterprise Mobility in 2014.
1. Is Your School Safe? Have a Plan to be Prepared, by Mike Coleman
In September, we were delighted to have guest blogger Mike Coleman, Vice President of SchoolSAFE Communications, a Motorola Solutions partner, write about schools being prepared for active shooter situations. A disturbing trend, there have been 74 incidents involving guns in schools, since the Sandy Hook tragedy two years ago. It is indeed a sad reality, and Mike’s blog discusses what schools can do to put safety plans in place.
2. Making the Basics Better by Innovating Something Special, by Ben Ansell
Motorola Solutions recently released a new MOTOTRBO digital radio, the SL300, and it’s definitely something special. Motorola Global Marketing Manager for MOTOTRBO Ben Ansell interviewed the Director of Design LanTing Garra and Senior User Experience Designer Sanne Martens about what inspired them in their design work on the SL300. This radio has no glass display – LED lights beneath the rugged housing convey radio information like channel selection. It makes the device tough, yet ergonomic and sleek.
3. The 5th C of Land Mobile Radio: Capabilities, by John Kedzierski
John thinks radios are cool. We do too. This blog from back in February by John Kedzierski, Motorola Solutions’ Senior Director of Market Strategy & Operations for North America was the sequel to a blog John previously wrote about the 4 Cs of radios: coverage, capacity, cost, and control. Capability is what John calls the “game changer,” that includes purpose-built devices and radio networks, data applications for increasing efficiency and productivity, plus security, safety, and reliability features.
4. We Can Measure the Business Impact of Learning, by Claudia Rodriguez
In February, Motorola’s Claudia Rodriguez discussed professional learning and how it is not just a valuable practice for businesses, but a critical part of success. Learn how Motorola Solutions developed a Learning Measurement Maturity Model and how the organization set its goals based on the goals of the company.
5. How Loud is Too Loud? Why You Shouldn’t Take Hearing Protection Lightly, by Nick Candotti
At Motorola Solutions, our business is communication, and safety. Protecting your hearing is serious, and as Motorola’s Director of Global Accessories and Energy Nick Candotti wrote in May, “even short term exposure to loud noise can cause a temporary change in hearing… [and] can also lead to physical and psychological stress.”
I hope you enjoyed looking back at our Top Five Enterprise blogs from 2014. Please let us know what you think about these blogs in the comments, and let us know what blogs you’d like to read in 2015 from Motorola Solutions. What are the communications topics and issues that matter to you and your business? We’ll be giving Fresh Ideas in Enterprise Mobility a new look and title next year, so please subscribe to get updates on our new blogs from industry experts and thought leaders. Thanks for a wonderful year, and we’ll see you in 2015!
Terrence Brown is a Senior External Communications Specialist for Motorola Solutions, Inc.
He’s also a big fan of Chris Rock.
Cloud computing, Internet of Things, Machine to Machine – what’s with all the new terms? The same way that corduroy pants and bell bottom jeans come back into mainstream fashion every few years under a new name, so does technology. Cloud computing is a fancy term that was created to make the adoption and understanding of existing hosted IP based applications like remote storage, web services, store fronts and other new hosted services seem simple and more palatable under one friendly non-threatening term – the cloud. Who’s afraid of a cloud?
In a similar vein, Machine to Machine, written as M2M, is a term which seems confusing at first, but in reality it simply describes a low cost radio that can connect to any device that has serial, Ethernet or other similar interface enabling direct communications to it. What makes this possible is that over the years technology has continually improved and costs have been driven down to the point where it has become economically feasible to enable more devices in your operations with communication.
When these devices are enabled with communication capabilities, the machinery can be actively monitored or controlled via remote computers. Imagine having communication and near real-time control and visibility into almost every aspect of your operations. For example, if a shut-off valve on a pipe in your facility has been left open for an extended period of time, you will have insight into how long it’s been open and send maintenance staff to assess and alleviate the situation before it becomes a potentially detrimental issue.
In addition to being aware of the current state of your organization’s operations, the remote devices which are connected to M2M modems can equip operators with valuable diagnostic information. Armed with this information, operators can take proactive steps if and when a device fails. Companies can maximize their uptime by scheduling planned downtime to replace devices that may be starting to have issues before they fail and shut down their operations.
In wired networking, enterprise customers typically have separate networks, physical or virtual, separating their enterprise systems from their operational systems. Similarly, as M2M devices start proliferating your operations they will create their own network, a so-called “Internet of Things.” Today, the Internet as we know it is used by people for traditional web surfing, email, games, watching videos and other similar business, personal and entertainment activities. However, it’s been estimated that the number of “things” in the world that can be monitored via communication outnumber people by anywhere from 10:1 to 1000:1 thus giving credibility that the “things” of the world may need their own Internet.
Mike Koch is an Energy & Utility Principal for Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Learn more about what Motorola Solutions has to offer Utilities.
Customers and Channel Partners were involved at every stage in the development of the SL300. Education professionals are an important group for the SL300, so the first “customer touch point” involved taking an early prototype of the SL300 to two schools: one in Florida and another in Virginia. Teachers, maintenance technicians, groundskeepers, and secretaries all used the radio and told us about their experience. They particularly liked the Active View display. When asked what they thought of this new display, they looked puzzled for a second, then they pressed a button and the display appeared from behind the housing in LEDs. It was a big “wow” factor.
Then they started talking about what else they liked: how slim and light it was; how it felt nice in their hand; how the controls fit nicely under their fingers. Things like the way the push-to-talk button is raised and highlighted with a “construction site” yellow ring around it so it’s easy to locate. Teachers don’t tend to use a radio every day – just in emergency situations: and that’s not a good time to learn how to use a complex device.
The carry accessories for the SL300 received some criticism, like how the elastic hand-strap wasn’t big enough. One larger individual said it was more like a pinky strap than a hand-strap. They also thought the belt clip was difficult to unclip in a hurry, so these comments were delivered to the Engineering team, who enlarged the hand-strap and created a new holster. It’s very versatile: the radio just snaps in and out, even with the hand-strap attached.
Carry accessories are a priority for this radio. As stated in the SL300 design blog, most female teachers don’t clip the radio to their belts like traditional radio users. They wedge it onto their clipboard, or leave it on their desk – which is really bad news in an emergency.
When we unveiled the SL300 to Motorola Channel Partners, they were also very impressed. Some partners asked about Bluetooth, GPS, Work Order Ticketing, and more advanced features. They thought the SL300 was a high-tier radio due to its sleek styling. While it is a basic radio, it looks very nice, and several dealers mentioned that it will sell itself.
But even though the display is a wow factor, some user groups indicated they were extremely price-sensitive, and only needed a 2-channel radio without the innovative LED display, so there is a non-display version of the SL300 available. Even without the screen, the radio is very easy to use – especially with the Voice Announcement feature. It calls out battery level, channel alias and other important information. The SL300 is integrated into the MOTOTRBO Radio Management tool, so audio files can be added quickly and efficiently.
The SL300 Is also aligned nicely with SchoolSAFE: a fantastic application designed by one of Motorola’s partners. It connects a public safety radio system to a school’s private radio system in an emergency situation, so school staff can communicate directly with first responders to resolve an issue. The teachers also get some pretty intense training so they understand emergency radio procedure.
The MOTOTRBO SL300 is a prime example of how innovation and customer engagement worked together to create a great product that will be useful and reliable for its owners.
Melissa Delatorre is the North American Product Manager of the SL300 for Motorola Solutions, Inc.
Get more information about the SL300, watch a video about its design, and read articles about SchoolSAFE from Urgent Communications and MarketWatch.com.