Developing an IP Dispatch Console Migration Plan
Technology transitions can be complex undertakings and not only require a well-developed project plan and an experienced implementation team, but also require systems, hardware, and software that are designed with interoperability and migration in mind.
While project planning tools are readily available, the plan for a transition to IP dispatch must include:
- A clear analysis of the organization’s communications system performance requirements and the capabilities of the existing land mobile radio system. Often, special features in the land mobile system also require special features in the dispatch system.
- An understanding of all communications resources connected to the dispatch system. Also, because the IP-based dispatch system likely will connect to the corporate WAN, the system design and its bandwidth requirements must be well understood and mapped against the network’s capabilities.
- The needs of dispatchers — what tools will allow them to perform more effectively and make their jobs less stressful? How would they like to arrange their console screens (the Graphical User Interface, or "GUI") and the other resources available at their workstation? Detailed interviews with dispatchers will often reveal critical aspects of the job unbeknownst to management.
- An understanding of the requirements of a backup dispatch facility. Dispatch is critical and lives could depend on the backup center’s ability to start up quickly and function properly. Planning an effective business continuity solution involves dispatch system capabilities, networking, processes, and staff training.
In addition to a capable, experienced, and well-integrated project team, technology integration and migration projects must be anchored in a set of products that have been designed with interoperability and migration in mind. Moving to newer, more capable technologies is essential, but can be daunting. The right team, the right leadership, and the right equipment partners are essential to a successful and smooth migration.