MCP Insights

NENA Conference and MCP's MAPS Program Will Help Prepare You for What's Coming

Posted on June 7, 2019 by Dave Sehnert

After taking a look at the breakout sessions scheduled for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) trade show and conference—which will be held June 14-19 in Orlando—a clear theme immediately emerged: preparing the nation’s 911 centers for what’s coming next.

And there’s a lot coming. 

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Public Safety Drones are Worth Pursuing, Despite the Challenges

Posted on May 3, 2019 by Glenn Bischoff

The concept of drones—also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or unmanned aerial systems (UAS)—dates back to August 1849 when Austrian soldiers attacked the city of Venice with hot-air balloons filled with explosives. The campaign largely was unsuccessful; in fact, ill winds blew many of the balloons back toward the soldiers who launched them.

Nearly a century later, in 1944 during World War II, Japan embarked on the little-known Fu-Go campaign that involved launching about 9,000 balloons laden with incendiary bombs; the balloons were supposed to waft across the Pacific Ocean and then start forest fires in the western United States to spark panic amongst the citizenry. This campaign also was unsuccessful.

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Use the Concept of the 'Virtual Bench' to Attract A Players to your Public Safety Organization

Posted on April 30, 2019 by Art Miley

A popular and effective supply-chain management strategy involves “just-in-time” delivery.  This approach calls for the vendor to receive goods from suppliers only when they are needed to fulfill an order. Similarly, a manufacturer would receive raw materials only when they are needed for the manufacturing process. It is a tricky thing to balance, but when done effectively the needs of customers are met nimbly and efficiently, and the company saves significant overhead costs by avoiding the warehousing of considerable inventory.

MCP uses a similar approach to ensure that we can supply our clients with the subject-matter expertise and experience they need when they need them, which we call the “virtual bench.” It’s an approach that can be embraced by all public safety organizations who are looking to find, and eventually hire and keep, high performing leaders.

In two previous posts we explained the “Topgrading” methodology. This method, developed by Dr. Brad Smart—considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on hiring practices—is designed to identify “A” players, those who among the top 10 percent of professionals in their chosen field. At MCP, we are constantly are on the lookout for A players. But we don’t always hire them immediately upon finding a match through the Topgrading process—instead, we assign them to the virtual bench.

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The Critical Role of Standards for NG911 Implementation

Posted on April 19, 2019 by John Chiaramonte

Throughout the design, development, and implementation of Next Generation 911 (NG911), one fundamental requirement has remained true: to achieve interoperability across the entire public safety communications ecosystem, NG911 implementations must adhere to a standard. For many years now, the 911 community has agreed that the NG911 standard is the National Emergency Number Association’s (NENA) Detailed Functional and Interface Standards for the NENA i3 Solution[1], commonly known as "NENA i3."

The first version of the standard, NENA 08-003, was ratified in June 2011. Since then, the standard was renumbered as NENA-STA-010.2-2016 when it was last updated in 2016. Later this year, NENA plans to revise the standard yet again expects American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ratification once again.

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The Three Components of an Effective Vendor Support Agreement

Posted on April 18, 2019 by Mark Perkins

When it comes to public safety vendor management, times have changed—dramatically.

A decade and a half ago, information technology (IT) managers and agency leadership dealt principally with a small number of support vendors. Service agreements were simple and easy to understand. Today, in stark contrast, the landscape is much different. The average agency has nearly 30 agreements—covering a plethora of systems—on which to stay current. The vendor support agreements themselves have become dramatically more complex. And many of the personalized relationships that were formed in the past no longer exist. What’s more common today is that customer support is provided by network operations centers or help desks where service and troubleshooting might be addressed by a different technician every time a new ticket is opened.

So, what does it take to be more effective at navigating the complexity of vendor support and management in today’s public safety communications environment? How can you begin to trust your maintenance and service providers again?

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