2020 was unprecedented on many levels. From wildfires and a global pandemic to civil unrest, we experienced an amalgamation of life-altering events at a level we have never seen before. While the events of the past year and a half were making impacts across the globe, they were also making unprecedented demands on our first responders and front-line workers. They tirelessly pushed forward through many uncertainties and continuously adjusted to help save lives and keep our communities safe.
While we still remain optimistic about the future, we also know we need to be prepared for any scenario. When you’re in the business of saving lives, every second counts. It’s our job to continually evaluate how we can do things better. 2020 taught us many lessons, and we’re responding by adjusting future radio dispatch console planning with the following general themes in mind.
Self-Isolation & Physical Distancing
We experienced a global pandemic, with many agencies sending as many employees as possible home to work. Some businesses or operations needed to close or have employees self-isolate due to exposure. While we’re making advancements, will there be a dangerous new COVID variant or another global pandemic? This is something we need to be ready for. It’s our now normal.
There was great civil unrest across much of the United States in 2020. This led to events that significantly impacted dispatch operations and close calls that would have posed significant risk had they occurred in different areas. Many are hopeful these events will decrease in 2021, but are we prepared for potential obstacles?
Federal, state/provincial, and municipal budgets were shattered and stretched to levels never before seen. How will this impact spending for dispatch improvements and upgrades in the near future? Will you still have the budget in the coming years to upgrade all your equipment? Agencies need solutions to bring the most value to their restricted budgets while meeting their unique needs.
Hybrid Cloud Dispatch Solution
To address these now normal realities, transitioning to a hybrid cloud dispatch console system is the ideal approach to addressing both today’s needs AND tomorrow’s challenges.
Many agencies are not ready to leave their trusted on-premises installs behind, but need expanded operational continuity and the ability to dispatch anywhere. LTE and cloud-based dispatch solutions are the future, but until you’re ready, you need a hybrid solution to enjoy the best of both worlds.
What is a hybrid cloud dispatch console system? A traditional LMR dispatch console system with radio and telephony channels routed simultaneously to a cloud-based dispatch console.
Hybrid cloud dispatch console solutions allow you to dispatch at a PSAP command centre and dispatch remotely through a web browser. They bridge technology and are quick to upgrade with minimal downtime. They’re also very affordable, with reduced fixed costs and flexible scalability.
What immediate advantages would a hybrid cloud dispatch solution give most agencies? If you’re a typical agency with an on-premises dispatch console system, here are just a few:
Two years ago, being able to dispatch anywhere wasn’t on the radar for most agencies. It was nothing more than a useful feature for managers working remotely or in the field. Today, this feature could — and has! — become an instant necessity due to quarantines and the spread of COVID-19 through a Dispatch Center. Hybrid cloud dispatch solutions give dispatchers the power to dispatch remotely whenever and wherever the need arises.
Expanded Operational Continuity
Typical agencies have redundant servers on-site, but what if your site is no longer accessible? Whether it’s damaged by fire, evacuated due to threats, or shut down by natural disaster, your dispatch operation is essentially offline without a secondary backup system. With a hybrid cloud dispatch system, you can connect anywhere through an internet-connected device (wired, WiFi, LTE, or satellite) and dispatch remotely.
Affordable Upgrade Path
You need more than an exact-fit console — you need an exact-fit for your budget. Adding cloud dispatch to your on-premises dispatch console system can be extremely affordable. The dispatch as a service model allows organizations of all sizes to benefit from reduced fixed costs, state-of-the-art emergency dispatch software, and infinite scalability. Over time, more features, can be added with pay-by-need equality.
Is now the right time to transition fully to LTE and cloud-based dispatch solutions? Hybrid cloud dispatch systems offer the best of both worlds: The familiarity of an on-premises dispatch console system AND the ability to dispatch remotely with any device with network connectivity.
InterTalk’s hybrid cloud solution means you can dispatch remotely during emergencies and have dispatchers work remotely during lockdowns — plus it’s affordable and evergreen.