Challenges in Delivering Technology to Public Safety — the “Consumable” Factor
On Aug. 27, E-ISG participated in the “Loudoun County Challenge”, as part of the collaboration team led by Haystax Technology, to demonstrate the proposed “Loudoun County Public Safety Cloud”. The solution is designed for the Loudoun County Public Safety team to view all available information about threats and incidences and their available resources including vehicles, equipment, and people, in an aggregated way, on one screen, in one application, so they can make informed decisions quickly. See the press release here.
The proposed “Loudoun County Public Safety Cloud” not only embodies the best software technologies in the market place, also delivers the technologies in a way fit for consumption by “Public Safety”. Anthony Beverina, President of Public Safety and Commercial Sector at Haystax Technology, presented the solution effectively because he understands the challenge in how the Public Safety users consume technology.
In the “Loudoun County Challenge” event, there were many technology companies, presenting the latest and coolest gadgets and applications. But in my view, not all of them are “consumable” by Public safety.
Running a technology company, I always challenge myself to think like our customers, not our developers. So what do I think are the real challenges in using Technology in Public Safety?
Having the experience in working with many Public Safety customers, I believe the challenge is not “lack of technology”, it is lack of “consumable technology fit for Public Safety.”
What are the key characteristics for the “consumable technology fit for Public Safety”?
- Intuitive user interface. Public Safety workers are more interested in putting out fires and saving lives. They have little patience with complicated software products that require application specific user training or support. Neither should they put up with old and complicated software tools.
- Easy to deploy. Public Safety agencies in the state and local government have limited IT resources, and are saddled with many legacy applications. So cloud based technology using web APIs to connect with legacy applications will be a better fit.
- Cost efficient. This one is obvious. Public Safety agencies are facing tightening budget, particularly impacted by the reduced grant dollars from the Department of Homeland Security. They are also facing more scrutiny on the use of the grant dollars from the past, getting new grants is no longer assumed, so they need to manage budget tightly.
E-ISG Asset Intelligence partnered with Haystax Technology to present the “Loudoun County Public Safety Cloud” because we share the same philosophy in “consumable technology”. The eQuip! application for managing emergency equipment is intuitive. We provide cloud based equipment management solution eQuip! to many emergency management agencies. It’s easy to deploy and cost efficient.
In preparing for the “Loudoun County Public Safety Cloud” presentation, the emergency equipment information residing in eQuip! was fed into the “Loudoun County Public Safety Cloud”, so users can see the availability of emergency equipment on the situation assessment screen.
They don’t need to sign on to different applications. They don’t need to jump back and forth from different screens. All the “contextual situation awareness” is on one screen.
This is “consumable technology”.