Simon Hill, Technical Director – Excelerate Group
As we become more connected – so do our lives and daily routines. How would you manage to get through a typical day without your mobile phone for example? It seems almost impossible when you consider its use for making calls, social media, getting directions or even adjusting the temperature of your home. It is clear that we are more efficient when we are connected and the same applies to responders in the field – by being able to carry out important tasks remotely responders reduce duplicating efforts and workflow inefficiencies.
The fluctuating availability of terrestrial networks poses a serious challenge for responders trying to access & share reliable content remotely and can often become unusable in situations when it matters most. Lessons learned show that communication plays a significant role in the outcome of an event and due to the unpredictable nature of responses, terrestrial networks should not be solely relied upon.
Emergency Responders need a variety of solutions to ensure maximum resilience so that operational assets are fit for purpose. A resilient & private data network over multiple bearers e.g 3G, 4G, LTE, COFDM & Satellite ensures that responders are able to share time-critical data, video & voice securely in all environments. This includes instances when terrestrial networks are congested, under threat or suffering from disruption.
Digital Transformation: The Convergence of IoT and Incident Response
Information and data are the lifeline of any organisation. If not available, and shared freely, responders in the field will struggle to collaborate with one another as well as other responding agencies. The growth of IoT (internet of things) represents our increasing ability to share information globally. By sharing data between vehicles, assets and people, the most up-to-date, accurate information is readily available for continuity of knowledge and shared situational awareness.
The convergence of IoT and incident response enables a fully connected incident ground with any number of integrated ‘smart’ technologies. With a resilient & secure communications infrastructure in place, responders are able to monitor the unfolding situation and share those insights in real-time with commanders whether they are in the field, on-board a command & control unit or back at headquarters. Current applications include mapping, command software, vital signs monitoring, access to the cloud, video streaming and more.
In order to evolve into a new efficient digitally enabled organisation, learning from past events, analysing the current capability and staying tuned into current developments are effective methods for carrying out a true gap analysis and needs assessment. True digital transformation can only happen when a clear understanding of what your organisation and most importantly the people you serve expect today and will expect in the future.
Changing the Command & Control Landscape
As technology becomes smaller, our innovation has continued to grow with the launch of a number of new products at the Emergency Services Show this year. Designed with ease of use in mind, Excelerate’s new Portable Hub enables real-time data, video & voice applications – with enhanced roaming capability. This smart 4G Hub can plug in to any fleet vehicle or be deployed elsewhere within the incident ground for enhanced & extended communications capability.
Connex Hub, a vehicle-based compact box, has the addition of a built in CPU for Excelerate’s Digital Dashboard Management Interface (DDMI). DDMI, combines all systems and applications in to one easy-to-use interface and is currently being utilised by the majority of our customer base. This solution is fully scalable and customisable to user-needs and supports 3rdparty integration.
We have always provided hybrid connectivity solutions and earlier this year, Excelerate became a global distributor for Kymeta for Government & The Emergency Services. The Kymeta flat-panel satellite antenna gives responders the ability to have reliable, on-the-move communications and is a game-changer for emergency response. The antenna is small in size and can be installed on front-line rapid response vehicles as well as larger command & control units and everything in-between. The antenna can be used as the primary bearer, or part of a more resilient blended-communications solution.
The demand for these solutions is rising, as responders adopt a more digital way of working and with a need for portable devices that can be used on the move – feeding back information en route to speed up processes, enabling more efficient working, supporting interoperability and improving overall safety.
We are continually developing offerings to ensure that customers have the right solutions to address their converged technology needs. Our in-house R&D department monitors leading edge technologies to understand if they can benefit our customers and complement our overall offering.
Our leading position in the market place enables us access to the most cost effective and innovative technology solutions available, and if we can’t provide what our customers are looking for, we will develop it for them.