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MCP Makes Best-of-Breed Technology Procurements Easy and Painless

Since the firm’s launching 12 years ago, Mission Critical Partners has participated in hundreds of technology procurements. We are proud that our clients trust the support that we provide. The foundation for that trust can be found in two important factors.

Public Safety Cloud Solutions: Clear Sailing Ahead

Do not be alarmed—those are not storm clouds on the horizon.

What you are seeing is the front line of cloud-based solutions entering the 911 technology marketplace. While cloud-based computing in its current form has been used effectively for more than a decade in non-public-safety markets, the 911 community has been glacier-like in adopting this technology. This largely is because 911 officials have been reticent to trust that cloud-hosted solutions can meet the rigorous demands of operating 24 x 7 x 365 with high reliability and availability—which is essential in a 911 center. 

However, cloud solutions have proved that they can achieve this high standard with other mission-critical entities, such as National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Department of Defense missile systems. They also have proved to be quite advantageous from implementation, maintenance, scalability, disaster-recovery and cost perspectives.

How to Lessen the Impact of Public Safety Vendor Consolidations

A baseball adage says that when a pitcher throws you a curveball, you hit it to the opposite field. But what do you do when the pitcher hurls a fastball right at your head?

The public safety version of this scenario occurs whenever system or technology vendors consolidate, either through merger or acquisition, an action that often places their customers in a very precarious position. Agencies immediately wonder whether their already deployed systems will be supported in the same manner as before the consolidation.

Often, they are not, in part because some number of administrative, engineering and service personnel typically leave a company after a consolidation.

Worse, systems and equipment often are eliminated in the aftermath of a consolidation, usually because of product redundancies. Preparing for system and equipment end of life always is challenging, but it becomes terrifying when it occurs suddenly and with no warning. Public safety agencies are in the business of saving lives and that becomes significantly more difficult when communications systems are rendered inoperable because replacement components or maintenance services cannot be procured—because they no longer exist.  

Trends in Computer Aided Dispatch Systems for 911 Centers

In emergency communications, the computer-aided dispatch system, or CAD, functions as the informational hub of the public safety answering point (PSAP). As technology continues to impact everything we do as consumers – from purchasing of goods, to our communications with friends, to navigating us from point A to point B – public safety must modernize its systems to meet communities’ demands for faster and improved emergency response.

Over the years, driven by advancements in consumer technology, CAD systems have undergone their own evolution. For many years, CAD systems were specific to a single agency. Today, CAD systems have evolved into multi-agency, unified platforms that enable greater flexibility and facilitate information sharing, not just between the PSAP and field personnel, but also between departments and neighboring jurisdictions.

Four Tips to Avoid a Failed Public Safety IT Project

This post is part one in a four-part series of posts on avoiding a derailed public safety IT project.

If you’ve been involved in a public safety system procurement in your career, you know that the process is anything but simple. Public safety system procurements are complicated undertakings that are time-consuming, risky, and often under-resourced by the agency completing the upgrade.

According to a study released by the Standish Group in 2014 published in Governing Magazine, the success rate for public sector IT projects is a mere 39%. That’s a big problem.

What can public safety agencies do to increase their success rate? We recently shared some ideas during a Mission Critical Partners (MCP) webinar (listen to it on-demand here). To help you succeed, we’ve included some of the takeaways and best practices in this article.

Because of the complexity associated with this process, we will cover these tips in a four-part series that provides a step-by-step overview of what’s important leading up to an implementation.

Read on for best practices that will increase your success in the needs assessment and develop requirements phase of your project.