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      Published 49 days ago by Mimmo Marchetti

      Adapting to rapidly changing times

      The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt right across the globe. None of us know how long it will last, but one thing we can be certain of is that it will have an impact long after the virus has been contained.

      The socio-economic challenges Covid-19 presents are already becoming evident. In some areas where this has been most immediately and acutely apparent, it has been exacerbated by political unrest and a surge in refugees.

      We all know that the future is unpredictable, but planning ahead for a rapidly changing world is even more complex. Limited budgets could become tighter, while demands are likely to grow and priorities may change frequently. So, organisations will need to be more agile in how they allocate funding and more scrupulous in their use of existing resources and infrastructure.

      Turning Capex into Opex

      Collaboration across humanitarian agencies is one way to help optimise resources, although this can be complicated by disparate communication systems.  Based on insight from working side-by-side with humanitarians for many years, Motorola Solutions has developed a service offering that can be customised to meet individual needs.

      Under the umbrella of “Managed Services” it allows you to pick the solutions that suit your operation and to pay based on usage. In this way, you reduce your initial investment and can more accurately forecast your operating expenses.

      Covering everything from product and implementation to technical support, repair, preventative maintenance, network monitoring and upgrades, Managed Services enables humanitarian organisations to avoid the distraction of trying to keep pace with technology and to stay focused on saving and improving lives.

      How it works

      We have integrated Managed Services across our ecosystem comprised of mission-critical communications, tracking systems, Command Centre software, video security & analytics and support services. This modular system has been created to optimise situational awareness and real-time intelligence so that the most important information can flow quickly and seamlessly throughout your organisation.

      With Managed Services you have peace of mind that your communications technology will be there when you need it, keeping teams in touch and informed.

      An example of such a service is WAVE PTX, our subscription-based, Push-To-Talk cloud solution. It has been designed specifically to enable teams like humanitarians to connect across different networks and locations instantly and share information regardless of device and service provider.

      WAVE PTX offers you the flexibility of additional capacity when you need it, without a significant upfront investment. Fixed usage costs also make it easier to manage your budget and maximise your available resources.

      And it doesn’t have to stop there. Video -as-a-Service (Vaas) is gaining momentum in various parts of the world. It will not be long before we have pay-as-you-go programmes for body-worn cameras, fixed video and other surveillance solutions that include hardware, software, support and services.  This will enable you to capture information and share it in real time to promote more intelligent decision-making and a more efficient response to crisis situations.  

      Here to support you

      Motorola Solutions has been a trusted partner in mission-critical communications for over 90 years. Whatever challenges may come our way, we will continue to stand side-by-side with you, helping you to support vulnerable communities and save lives.

      If you’d like to know more about how you can gain greater financial flexibility without compromising on safety or efficiency, get in touch with me.

      Best wishes for a healthy, safe and peaceful new year.

      Mimmo Marchetti
      United Nations and International Accounts Manager
      Motorola Solutions
      m: +39 | 349 760 2203


      Published Aug 10 2020, 10:23 AM by Mimmo Marchetti

      Changing the way we communicate

      We are facing a particular moment in time when we are all being called upon to change our habits and lifestyles. It is a time when prevention and control, along with a deep sense of accountability to ourselves as well as to others, have become the key elements in this historical change.

      Our way of communicating is changing too, becoming more focused on information that really matters in these challenging times. The need for collaboration is greater than ever before and the focus on communities has become even more important.

      Motorola Solutions has always worked closely with our customers, listening to what end users need to help them face new challenges and having the agility to adapt quickly to changing situations. So as we consider how to support your humanitarian operations through these uncertain times, I would like to talk about communication, tracking, security, and logistics.


      Responding promptly to emergency situations during the Covid-19 pandemic means allowing people to continue to communicate, while observing social distancing which makes face-to-face interactions difficult.

      Motorola Solutions is enabling secure communications by allowing operators to use their existing devices, such as smartphones, to connect instantly and seamlessly across networks. In fact, we have made our Push-to-Talk service available to key workers free of charge for the first three months.


      This is becoming the most critical area for all organisations, particularly for monitoring outbreaks and affected people, as well as for protecting humanitarian workers. The good news is that our tracking solutions can natively integrate with Covid-19 real-time monitoring features, to make this task easier and more efficient to manage.


      Another area which is even more relevant today, is enabling the interception of possible Covid-19 cases before they access any protected areas, camps, or buildings. Our video analytics solutions now include all the capabilities to enable correct upfront screening and to continue to support operations in a safe manner.
      Occupancy counting, face mask detection and thermal elevated temperature detection are just a few examples of how we have adapted our video solutions to Covid-19 emergency response.


      The pandemic has had a huge impact on the availability of resources as well as budgets. Having real-time visibility of goods enables you to make them available as soon as they are needed, reducing wastage and spoilage. Our mission for humanitarian support is also to help you increase efficiency by having all critical equipment protected and inventoried.

      And last but not least is the importance of integration. All service providers are changing their support models due to the limitations imposed by travel restrictions. New remote support models, both for deployment and for certification and training, are available to keep you updated and in touch throughout this crisis.

      These are some of the measures we have put in place to help humanitarian organisations to continue to deploy solutions rapidly and cost-efficiently.

      For further information, click on this link to access our Covid-19 Response Technology brochure.

      We are planning some webinars with our subject matter experts to cover the above topics in the near future, so stay tuned. I am available for any questions in the meantime, so please do get in touch.

      We are here to listen and to help.

      Stay safe and stay well.

      Mimmo Marchetti                                             

      United Nations and International Accounts Manager


      Published Dec 17 2019, 12:31 PM by Mimmo Marchetti

      Early warnings can be sent securely and rapidly from the scene of an incident, saving minutes and possibly lives.

      Natural and man-made disasters or early alerts for refugee camps are familiar situations which humanitarians face and two-way radio continues to be extremely effective for one-to-one and one-to-many communication in such situations. So, how could this capability be extended to make it possible to broadcast mass notifications when a disaster occurs or an evacuation needs to be carried out?

      Expanding the capabilities of traditional PA systems

      One of the biggest challenges in disaster situations is a lack of mobile phone coverage within the affected areas. Traditional PA systems have been used to distribute mass notifications by broadcasting from desk-based microphones or through pre-recorded messages. But, what if guards and security officers were able to use their MOTOTRBO (DMR) or TETRA radios to broadcast an alarm as soon as a critical situation arises at a camp site or base? Minutes could be saved by enabling those closest to an incident to react and this can be achieved easily, today.

      Motorola Solutions’ mission-critical IoT system can connect to your early warning sirens using your existing TETRA or MOTOTRBO network. The siren data and voice recordings are transported via the digital radio network to identified siren alarm locations. Not only does this allow alerts and announcements to be sent using two-way radios, it also leverages the inherent security of the digital radio network for more robust, end-to-end protection.

      A customisable graphic user interface makes it easy to manage and control your sirens remotely. Activation and announcements can be made by selecting individual sirens or groups and zones and these can be programmed to send out alerts automatically, as well as enabling live broadcasts. You can also view events as they occur or store them for analysis afterwards and the system can be expanded to accommodate future growth.

      Less infrastructure, lower costs, greater security

      There are several ways in which our Early Warning Smart Siren solution can benefit humanitarian operations - including peace keeping missions, disaster response and development agencies:

      1. Interoperability: As the sirens can be monitored and controlled using your existing digital radio infrastructure, there is no need to set up a new communication backhaul or additional repeater sites.  The solution is also siren- vendor neutral and scalable. And for even greater reliability, redundant LTE options can be added to ensure the sirens are activated whenever needed.
      2. End-to-end security: Tone-based sirens can be easily hacked and this makes them vulnerable to misuse. False siren activations could cause havoc at humanitarian sites and even put lives at risk. By migrating your existing siren system to your TETRA/MOTOTRBO network, you can inherit the redundancy and security of the digital radio network, making your early warning system much more resilient.
      3. Cost-effective: The ability to integrate sirens from different vendors and to use your existing digital radio infrastructure keeps costs down without compromising security.

      Keeping communities safer

      Disasters are becoming more frequent due to more extreme weather patterns and increased threats to public safety. They’re also largely unpredictable and potentially devastating, so a robust early-warning mass notification system is critical. Providing early, clear and continuous communication during an emergency, these systems can help humanitarians to work more effectively and keep communities safer.


      Published Oct 07 2019, 1:47 PM by Mimmo Marchetti

      Why should you replace your analogue radios with digital (DMR) radios?

      Throughout my travels and interactions with humanitarians in the field, there is one question which keeps on coming up: “Why did Motorola phase out analogue radios…? They worked so well!”  This suggests to me that many users do not see value in replacing their analogue radios with digital (DMR) radios.

      If you consider DMR as a mere substitute for analogue, then you are absolutely right in your thinking: there aren’t many apparent benefits to everyday radio checks, whether you are using DMR or analogue. But then you are missing out on all the vast benefits which DMR has to offer over analogue.  And one of the real values lies in its capability for integrated data.

      Life in the humanitarian world isn’t just about “checking in” regularly. It’s about unpredictable situations and how well you can respond to them. It’s not about an ideal world, where networks are stable and reliable. It’s a world where harsh environments, extreme weather conditions and volatility can occur without warning.

      How well can analogue radio support you in those conditions?


      Setting aside the intrinsic features of a DMR radio - such as man-down, geolocation, etc. - which can support lone workers in potentially dangerous areas out in the field, I would like to bring up capabilities that are not seen as the primary benefits of a digital system. These are all around data transfer.

      Sending vital information where it needs to go, as quickly as possible

      What happens when lone workers who need to send life-saving or critical transactions (such as acknowledgements, beneficiary registrations or animal counting for wildlife conservation) are without any connection to an ISP or basic communication infrastructure? This is the reality of the situations humanitarians face.

      DMR comes to the fore when you need to transfer critical data quickly and securely to improve the safety of your personnel and the communities you serve. Whether via Bluetooth or WiFi, you can connect virtually any device to a digital radio.

      You can transfer data - from a simple text message to financial transactions or job tickets - at the same time as voice, meaning that the network does not cut off communications and you can prioritise and override channels as needed. This ensures that the most vital information gets to where it needs to go, as quickly as possible.  

      DMR also allows you to track the movement of personnel and vehicles in real time, keeping up to date as events unfold and making the most of limited time and resources in disaster situations. The ability to access and share crucial information enables people to make more informed decisions and more accurately assess situations, which could save more lives and improve the efficiency of everyday operations.

      Analogue radio simply cannot achieve that.  

      So, that is why we have phased out analogue radios.  DMR takes two-way radio communication way beyond basic voice functionality, expanding possibilities and helping humanitarians to be their best in the moments that matter.

      When we meet again, I will be elaborating on the capabilities of DMR by taking a closer look at interoperability (IoP) and exploring the differences between private and commercial broadband.

      If you’d like more information about how Motorola Solutions’ DMR portfolio can support your operations, get in touch with me, or click on the links below:


      Mimmo Marchetti

      United Nations and International Accounts Manager


      Published Jun 19 2019, 8:18 AM by Travis Heneveld

      Using artificial intelligence and analytics to convert data into actionable knowledge

      In our fast-paced, connected world access to real-time data is almost taken for granted. When an incident occurs, data pours in from a multitude of sources. Turning that data into intelligence which can be acted upon requires the ability to qualify, filter and analyse what is received as quickly as possible. So, the quality of data has to keep on evolving, in order to meet constantly changing needs.

      It’s hardly surprising, then, that innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) are making it possible for data to become more intuitive and responsive. This has given rise to a range of mobile applications and software solutions which are transforming the way we capture, store, analyse and retrieve information on the go.

      Accessing the untapped potential of data

      ThinkAidCameraThe combination of analytics and AI provides the tools to tap into the true value of data, converting it into actionable knowledge. We can use these tools to recognise people and objects, track them based on their physical attributes and flag up unusual activity. Footage from security cameras can be filtered and searched automatically, reducing time-consuming tasks. AI can also convert speech into text and recognise sounds. This enables the transmission of information to be more adaptable across multiple devices. By improving the speed and accuracy of intelligence-gathering, better use can be made of limited resources and humanitarians can spend more time in the field.

      ThinkaidanalyticsDiscovering trends in data can help us to trigger advance warnings and receive recommended courses of action, as well as to learn from and predict situations. This can promote a more consistent approach and expedite decision-making, so responders are more informed and aware as events unfold.

      Thus, the improved capabilities such innovations promise could have a tremendous impact on outcomes in crisis situations.

      Creating intelligent ecosystems through resilience, security and interconnectivity

      ThinkAidConvRealising the power of innovation to change lives requires a lot more than sophisticated products and devices. Without secure, reliable networks and the ability to interconnect multiple systems - such as MOTORBO digital radios, LEX 11 LTE devices, MOSCAD systems, Security cameras, alarms and sensors - the transformative power of innovation can be diminished.

      Motorola Solutions’ ethos is to empower users and communities by developing technology in a collaborative environment that focuses on the user’s experience. The solutions we design are purpose-built to encourage intelligent ecosystems to evolve.  Our portfolio enables humanitarians to predict and prevent - as well as react and respond to - disaster situations.

      Let’s examine how such innovations can bring about digital transformation in the lives of humanitarians and the communities they serve.

      Centralised data gathering for mobile intelligence

      In a crisis situation, data can be captured and collected in real time from a broad variety of sources – such as social media, text messages, sensors and CCTV cameras. As this data streams into the Command Centre, intelligence analysists can harness the power of technology to collate information regarding an incident in a cohesive, centralised manner.  From a single console, they are able to map details and locate responders, as well as remotely control access to sensitive areas. This can include shutting down utilities which are at risk and redirecting traffic and people away from hazardous zones. Suspicious vehicles or persons can be detected and tracked, using geo-fencing to alert responders when boundaries are crossed.


      Data from multiple sources is thus transferred into mobile intelligence which allows humanitarians to act based on more advanced situational awareness. Using a combination of two-way radios, body-worn cameras and cameras mounted on drones, responders can stay in touch and up to date as events unfold, gathering, accessing and sharing information on the ground and from the air in real time.

      This is already happening in New Orleans, where security cameras are placed in hotspots, businesses and homes. When an incident occurs, these cameras are on the scene instantly, recording events and detecting unusual activity for more effective crime resolution and safer communities. Body sensors and body-worn cameras can dramatically improve personnel safety by raising alerts the instant someone is injured or under threat and drone-mounted cameras can help to track suspects on the move.

      These are just a few examples to demonstrate the tremendous potential for analytics and AI to optimise productivity and expand resources virtually. They can accelerate the transmission of intelligence, heighten awareness and promote better preparedness. The improved decision-making and collaboration which such technological advancement can offer helps teams to remain focused on the task and be their best in the moments that matter. And that is what digital transformation is all about.


      Published Apr 18 2019, 10:05 AM by Travis Heneveld

      Software evolution advances innovation in mission-critical applications and services for humanitarians in the field

      While Motorola Solutions’ 90-year history is deeply rooted in pioneering voice-based systems, we are constantly seeking new ways to advance the communication lifeline and help humanitarians to meet ongoing challenges. Today, our company has established itself as a trusted, end-to-end communications and intelligence provider.  And that’s where we can offer you even greater value.

      Motorola Solutions has continuously strived to understand the conditions humanitarians face in their daily operations. We talk regularly with humanitarian organisations to develop comprehensive, customised solutions that meet your particular requirements. And we work closely with customers to deliver high-tech, flexible and affordable voice and data solutions that support greater safety and expand capabilities, so you can be primed and prepared when you’re on the move.

      Adding value to modern critical communication systems

      Software is now leading the technological evolution, enabling us to bring users even greater functionality when and where they need it.

      In a crisis situation, communication centres around data – capturing it, accessing it, sharing it and analysing it - so you can make more informed decisions based on improved understanding. But this can be tricky when you’re faced with growing threats to security and stretched resources. The challenge is compounded by having to work across disparate systems. This wastes valuable time, as you have to sift through - and manage - information from multiple sources. It also makes it difficult to co-ordinate activities for seamless interaction between work groups.

      Motorola Solutions is here to help you solve the tasks you’re charged with in the quickest and most efficient way possible, with an integrated, end-to-end solution that provides a comprehensive picture. It’s about delivering the right information when, where and how it’s needed, to help  you increase situational awareness, streamline workflows and make better decisions, whether you’re in a situation room, out in the field or on site.

      This is achieved thorough a multi-layered approach comprising:

      •    Two-way radio -  instant, one-to-one/ group voice and data-rich communication

      •    Broadband work group communications – unified PTT voice and data solutions for users across different devices and networks

      •    Real-time tracking - of personnel, vehicles and supplies to optimise efficiency and enhance safety

      •    Planning, managing and streamlining workflows, using job ticketing

      •    Predicting and preventing emergency situations and automating processes for quicker response using Mission Critical IoT

      •    Telemetry - for remote monitoring and control of perimeters, machinery, power supplies, sensors and alarms

      •    Managed Services – ensuring your systems are maintained and managed so you can stay focused on the task at hand

      Investing in New Capabilities

      Motorola Solutions has acquired a number of companies that build on our track record of developing next-generation mission-critical solutions. This has enabled us to bring together artificial intelligence (AI) and human intelligence and to create new user interfaces for delivering information.

      They include:

      •    Video Security, body-worn cameras, live video feeds and sensors 

      •    Data and video analysis using AI 

      •    Integrated Control Room software and applications that centralise and simplify data collection, management and interpretation, to facilitate the co-ordination of diverse activities across multiple sites.

      All these components combine to offer you integrated solutions that enhance safety and improve efficiency,  enabling you to become more aware, more prepared and more in control.

      Talk to us today to find out how we can work with you to add greater value to your operations and create the solutions you need to meet challenges as they arise.

    • Driving Costs Down

      Published Feb 15 2019, 4:42 PM by Travis Heneveld

      A study conducted over 10 years ago found that transport was “the second-biggest overhead cost to the humanitarian system after personnel… it estimated that a fleet of four-wheel-drive vehicles operated by international humanitarian organisations numbered over 100 000, with running costs nearing $1 billion per year. [The United Nations Environment Programme] estimates this fleet size will triple by 2050”[1].

      Today, there are still large gaps in data for the efficient management of humanitarian fleets and this could be contributing to rising operating costs and increased safety risks.

      Long-distance travel is unavoidable as humanitarian organisations have to transport staff, equipment and life-saving supplies to dislocated communities – most of which are in remote locations. So, it may seem almost impossible to reduce some of the costs inherent in the delivery of humanitarian aid. However, the implementation of tools to measure, monitor and manage transportation can result in significant savings, particularly within the humanitarian sector, and this has been supported by more recent studies.

      Given the fleet management solutions now available to proactively monitor energy consumption, it has been estimated that humanitarian organisations could benefit from:

      •    “at least 10 per cent reduction of fuel costs on ground transport
      •    37 per cent reduction through behavior change and more efficient technologies
      •    60 per cent savings on generation

       – all using currently available, affordable and proven practice and technology changes. At current prices, this could mean operational savings of over $517 million a year”[2].

      A Solution that’s Simple, Compatible, Scalable and Affordable

      Motorola Solutions’ approach to fleet management ensures compatibility with all UN vehicles, avoiding duplicating hardware equipment in the vehicle and allowing you to keep running costs low, while providing the flexibility to add capacity and features as required.

      Here’s how it works:

      •    Deploy a telematics hardware box with embedded GSM modem
      •    Where relevant, add a VSAT modem, and/or integrate your existing two-way radio hardware (TETRA, DMR or HF) for tracking vehicles
      •    Choose the best available technology to transmit data, depending on your location
      •    Use GPS for always-transmit positioning
      •    Consider buffering vehicle reports and transmit only when needed and affordable

      We offer another solution with our Application Partner GINA to transmit additional data related to security, logistics and project management, using TETRA and MOTORBO, as well as GSM and Satellite networks. This enables you to gain a real-time view of operations across a unified platform, all on a single dashboard.

      Advancing the Future of Fleet Management

      Continuing Motorola Solutions’ history of innovation in fleet management, we recently expanded our portfolio with the acquisition of VaaS, to include data and image analytics for vehicle location.  This makes it possible for fixed and mobile licence plates to be captured and analysed automatically, helping to tighten security and shorten response times when an incident occurs.

      Humanitarian organisations can now choose from a range of unique Fleet Management Solutions that empower your workforce to:

      •    Share data intelligently  –  collect information and photographs from the field, produce incident reports and track the progress of projects

      •    Improve  security – a panic button triggers an immediate email and SMS notification to pre-defined contacts; early warning messages alert convoys entering high-risk areas; evacuation routes are planned and mapped in advance; border crossings and unplanned journeys can be detected, offering greater protection of personnel

      •    Enhance situational awareness – statistical data and real-time mapping locates personnel and vehicles and sends reports from the field

      Whether you need to manage a small or large fleet, we can customise a cost-effective, scalable solution that will help you to:

      •    Minimise accidents and speeding
      •    Reduce vehicle maintenance, service costs and down-time
      •    Promote greater accountability
      •    Cut carbon emissions
      •    Enhance personnel safety

      To find out more about how your organisation can enhance operations with Motorola Solutions’ innovative fleet management technologies:

      •    Contact me, Travis Heneveld, to talk about your particular needs
      •    Learn more about Motorola Solutions’ TETRA and MOTOTRBO data infrastructure
      •    Download our Application Partner GINA’s brochure

      [1] Grafham, O. and Lahn, G. The Costs of Fuelling Humanitarian Aid, Research Paper by the Moving Energy Initiative, December 2018 pg11.

      [2] Ibid. Pg 4.


      Published Dec 17 2018, 2:59 PM by Travis Heneveld

      Surveillance cameras and video analytics may not be technologies which one would traditionally associate with humanitarian operations. However, breakthrough innovations in video surveillance are working with Motorola Solutions’ two-way radios and CommandCentral Aware platform to deliver a layered approach to security that is powerful, pre-emptive and preventative.

      Real-time alerts and actionable information from an integrated source can offer humanitarians a detailed overview that enables more proactive monitoring, more effective communication and quicker response to incidents, reducing threats to personnel safety and providing greater protection of communities at risk, as well as securing valuable assets.

      How it works

      1 - Monitor - with smart surveillance

      You may be aware that Motorola Solutions recently acquired Avigilon, an organisation that designs, develops, and manufactures video analytics, network video management software and hardware, surveillance cameras, and access control solutions. This has enabled us to develop end-to-end security solutions, incorporating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and video analytics to search for suspicious activity based on specific criteria.

      So, whether you’re needing to protect staff residences, storage facilities, high-value assets such as vehicles, medical equipment and cash or safeguard sensitive information, video surveillance provides real-time awareness to reduce theft and prevent damage. It can also empower guards by providing greater situational awareness to warn of fighting in the vicinity, alert them to suspicious vehicles or people and control access by screening visitors before they enter a site.

      Avigilon’s Appearance Search  and Unusual Motion Detection (UMD) Technology makes it possible to search through hours of video easily and quickly, using face analytics and physical descriptions to identify and track the movement of people, vehicles or assets.

      UMD technology learns how to detect and flag unusual motion, to automatically guide your attention to what’s important, pre-empting situations before they escalate, saving time and freeing up resources.

      This sophisticated, self-learning AI solution alleviates the need to watch video cameras constantly and overcomes the limitations of the human attention span, bringing a new level of automation to surveillance.  It can also be added to any connected video stream or IP camera, to protect existing investments in non-analytic cameras.

      2 - Communicate with greater awareness

      When suspicious activity is detected, two-way radio empowers humanitarians to contact the right people instantly, share important information and make informed decisions about how to respond.

      Information gathering can be further enhanced with Motorola Solutions’ Si500 Video Speaker Microphone (VSM) body-worn camera, which combines voice communication with video and still image capture to record events the moment they happen. With five integrated microphones, the Si500 can be combined with a Motorola Solutions digital two-way radio to enhance situational awareness in the field and make it easier to gather and review evidence.

      This compact, rugged device could prove useful in the monitoring of aid programmes, refugee registrations or events such as elections, as well as to promote greater accountability.

      3 - Respond according to actionable information

      Motorola Solutions has integrated Avigilon’s video analytics technology into our CommandCentral Aware platform, to create a powerful, unified source of actionable information. Humanitarian organisations can harness this platform to access incident details, computer-aided despatch and records intelligence, geospacial data and real-time alerts from multiple sources.

      The result is a more detailed and informed picture of what is happening that enables decisive action to be taken. Video analytics can also automatically alert humanitarians to critical events that may require further investigation, helping to proactively keep people safe and assets protected.

      A unique system for safety

      The combination of Motorola Solutions with Avigilon closes the circle in communication, saving time, money and resources, enhancing processes and procedures for a more proactive approach to safety. This layered approach gives humanitarians in the field reassurance that they are protected and promotes safer cities where citizens feel secure and communities can thrive.

      For more information about how Motorola Solutions and Avigilon can work together to secure your operations, watch this video, or get in touch with me.

    • Advancing the Humanitarian Lifeline

      Published Oct 29 2018, 11:30 AM by Travis Heneveld

      What is the one thing you depend on so you’re primed and ready, both in your everyday work and when disaster strikes? A lifeline can represent many things: food and water, shelter, medical supplies, air lifts, funding… and communication.

      Without communication, operations would grind to a halt. And we’re not just talking about voice communication. Technological innovation has revolutionised the way we interact and we’ve become increasingly dependent on staying connected. It’s opened up opportunities for sending, receiving and processing information in ways we never thought possible.

      For example, just imagine if your communication solution could enable you to predict disasters before they occur and be more prepared in order to improve outcomes.  What difference would it make if your teams could have the intelligence they need, where and when they need it?

      These are the questions Motorola Solutions has been thinking about as we’ve considered how to advance the communications lifeline. During the past 90 years, we’ve partnered with thousands of customers in over 100 countries, working in the field to understand how organisations use technologies and determine how we can help you to communicate effortlessly and reliably, without interruption.

      We’ve advanced the communications lifeline way beyond voice to become the leading provider of mission-critical communications and video technology, so it’s now even easier for you to co-ordinate disaster response and improve security  – even when there is no existing infrastructure.

      From Walkie Talkie to Next-Generation Digital Radio

      Advancements in our Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) portfolio have expanded the capabilities of two-way radio to deliver rich data functionality that enables you to track personnel and enhance their safety in hazardous situations. The ability to issue job tickets, co-ordinate despatch and monitor vehicles delivering aid in real time can transform logistics and optimise the time taken to get vital food and medical supplies where they’re needed.

      Our two-way radios can also help to streamline operations at refugee shelters, making it easier and more efficient for you to scan, capture and process vital information. This can facilitate registration, as well as the identification of refugees for voucher exchange programmes or when distributing medicines.

      Who would have thought that all this could be achieved with what started out as a walkie talkie?

      Today, Motorola Solutions invests over half a billion dollars a year on research and development to build new intuitive, resilient solutions that advance your operations into the future. Our ongoing innovation has consistently challenged technological boundaries to help humanitarians be more prepared, more confident and more connected.

      Working Better Together

      While two-way radio is the ideal tool for many humanitarians – especially those working on the front line – we realise that it’s not the only communications tool you need. Aid workers using smartphones and tablets must be able to connect with their colleagues to prevent information bottlenecks and silos.

       Motorola Solutions’ WAVE Broadband Push-to-Talk platform removes communication barriers to enable work groups to share critical information via images, location, status and text messages.  WAVE thus extends the communication lifeline by offering a unified network across multiple devices, so that teams can collaborate more effectively at the push of a button.  

      Making Data Actionable

      As part of our commitment to continued innovation, Motorola Solutions has embarked on joint ventures and acquired a number of companies whose solutions complement our portfolio. The recent acquisition of Avigilon has resulted in the integration of advanced video analytics into our Command Central Aware software solution. Dispatchers and analysts can now access a single source for real-time intelligence that combines video feeds, incident details, alerts, data mapping and responder location.

      Avigilon’s Control Centre video management software will allow automatic alerts to be activated in real time when unusual activities are detected in people, vehicles or objects of interest. It transforms video surveillance from reactive to proactive monitoring, requiring less time to be spent watching video feeds. This enables responders to gain a more detailed picture of what is happening at the scene of an incident and take decisive action. It is another example of how we’re working to enable the seamless handling of emergency situations.

      Setting Tomorrow’s Standards

      Motorola Solutions is extremely proud to be celebrating our 90th anniversary. This is a milestone few companies reach and it’s down to the trust our customers place in us and the innovation that is part of our DNA. We remain committed to partnering with you as we continue to break boundaries in delivering the communications lifeline that ensures you are primed and prepared in the moments that matter.



      Published Aug 15 2018, 8:48 AM by Travis Heneveld

      Speed Up Response Times and Cut Costs by Planning your Emergency Communication Network in Advance

      Planning ahead for disasters is inherent to humanitarian organisations. However, the impact of advanced emergency preparedness in terms of time and cost had not been fully realised, until a recent study which was commissioned by UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP)

      Focusing on Chad, Pakistan and Madagascar, the study found that investments in early preparedness could speed response times by up to 50 days and deliver a return on investment as high as 2:1. The ability to improve response times – particularly in high-risk areas – presents significant potential for saving more lives during a crisis, while the impressive cost savings could help tight budgets to stretch even further.

      The study examined four core humanitarian operational areas – including logistics and procurement – and highlighted the benefits of pre-positioning emergency supplies such as telecommunications.

      Ensuring You’re Connected in the Moments that Matter

      A co-ordinated, cohesive response to a crisis situation is impossible without communication.  And preparing an emergency response communication network in advance can make it much quicker and more cost-effective to deploy.

      Communication is not only essential to emergency response, however: it can also help to predict and prevent disasters. For example, sensors and alarms can provide early warnings before an incident occurs and help to expedite evacuations, while the remote management and control of infrastructure such as power supplies and water flow can limit the extent of damage.

      Partnering for Preparedness

      Motorola Solutions’ specialisation in critical communication networks, combined with our extensive experience working with disaster response organisations around the world, enables us to share our knowledge to address the potential hazards and desired outcomes of a crisis situation.

      We are able to work closely with humanitarians on the ground, harnessing their awareness of the local environment, communities and infrastructure to plan an advance emergency communication network that meets their particular requirements, is robust and resilient and can be set up in the shortest time possible.  

      This includes identifying the most suitable locations for rapid deployment, overcoming topographical challenges, locating storage facilities, providing 24-hour technical support and delivering on-demand training so that users get the most out of their equipment.

      Where to start?

      When preparing an emergency response network, a good starting point is to identify which communication networks are already in place and to establish how resilient they are: can these networks be relied upon to keep humanitarian teams connected, whenever and wherever they need to?

      Once these factors have been taken into account, we can consider how to complement or strengthen the existing network. This could be through the addition of a robust, digital two-way radio network that enables voice and data communication to be prioritised. It ensures that critical transmissions get through, even in harsh conditions. The immediacy and cost-effective nature of two-way radio, as well as its ability to cover vast distances, makes it a viable solution for advanced emergency preparedness, especially in cases where the communication infrastructure has been destroyed.

      MOTOTRBO DMR digital two-way radios offer a vast range of advanced features to maximise operational efficiency and safety. In addition to high-performance voice and data functionality and enhanced range for more reliable communications, their integrated GPS can help to improve response times by identifying the location of personnel and vehicles. DMR radios also offer an emergency mode option which a user in distress can activate, to send an emergency alarm message to the control room, as well as the ability to interrupt transmissions for emergency broadcasts.

      With over 3000 trunked MOTOTRBO radio systems deployed worldwide, a complete ecosystem of services and expertise is in place to ensure the long-term feasibility and resilience of your network. A wide choice of applications makes it possible to customise communications according to the specific needs of different humanitarian work teams, with additional features such as automated alarm management, job ticketing and dispatch.

      In situations where a communication infrastructure does exist, LTE can deliver on-demand broadband, which can be intelligently prioritised. Multimedia information can be shared in real time across networks and devices using WAVE On Cloud. Users can receive an SMS containing a network set-up file and Application download link, together with a user account and password. This allows Push-to-Talk communication to be extended quickly and easily to smartphones and tablets, storing data securely in the cloud for centralised access.

      Once a kit list has been drawn up, a strategically-placed warehouse needs to be located for storage and deployment. This provides ready access to the right technology in-country, which enables communication to be set up much more rapidly and seamlessly.  There is also the option to access kit stored by an in-country Motorola Solutions Distributor, who can offer 48-hour readiness.

      The establishment of an advance emergency response network can be done in a flexible manner – either via a once-off capital investment, or as a service model investment which can then be managed and maintained for a fixed annual fee.

      Keeping Everything Working as it Should

      Having all your equipment stored and ready to set up is all well and good, but when disaster strikes, you also need reassurance that everything will be in perfect working order and that batteries are fully charged.

      Motorola Solutions offers a range of Managed Services to keep humanitarians connected and reduce the total cost of ownership. Covering onsite and technical support, repair, preventative maintenance, network event monitoring and upgrades, Managed Services allows humanitarian organisations to avoid the distraction of trying to keeping pace with technology and the cost of having to retain the requisite skills in-house. The ability to offload these operational risk, cost and management responsibilities also results in a sharper focus on the moments that matter.

      Better planning means better outcomes

      The evidence presented in the UNICEF/WFP study provides a strong argument for investing in emergency preparedness. Such measures ensure that humanitarians are well prepared to respond to crises backed by a resilient, critical communications network. This approach can also improve the outcome of humanitarian operations and realise substantial cost savings.

      Get in touch to find out more about how we can partner with you to tailor your emergency response network so that you have the resilience and support, when and where you need it.


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