Latest Cisco IPICS Integrates Dispatch Console, Mobile Live Video, Physical Security, PSIM

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Cisco adds dispatch console, interoperability for smart phones, other mobile devices to IPICS 4.0; APIs bring in PSIM, other systems

Cisco today is announcing availability of its IP Interoperability Collaboration System (IPICS) 4.0, styling it as a replacement for old, immobile dispatch consoles because of its ability to create a "collaborative" mobile incident management session among first responders, pushing and pulling live video and other media to an array of devices, including smart phones as well as traditional UHF/VHF radios.

Further, IPICS 4.0's policy engine "complements" physical security information management (PSIM) solutions an agency or enterprise might have in place, with the PSIM solution potentially pushing response templates to IPICS and its dispatch console, said Craig Cotton, senior director of product marketing, physical security business unit, at Cisco in a pre-release briefing with Security Squared.

Mobile Media-Rich Incident Management

Broadly, the release will enable entities to manage incidents and situations from any device with a network connection, with all responding parties able to share live or archived video, voice and other data using virtually any network-connected device, from standard telephones to smart phones. Only one agency needs to deploy IPICS 4.0 to enable the interconnections and data sharing.

For example, Bryant University was offered as a representative case study, in which its IPICS pilot installation is enabling collaboration among 13 first respond agencies throughout Rhode Island and two other states.
(See video case study of Bryant University's IPICS 4.0 pilot here.).

The other agencies are not necessarily using IP-based communications devices, explained Cotton; it's IPICS that manages the interoperability of devices. The other groups do not need to deploy any new technology.

The IPICS Mobile Client provides the multimedia data to the devices. It will debut as an "app" for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and then port to other devices. It can accommodate video from a variety of sources, including live, archived and Web-based, such as a YouTube video. Each of these sources can be patched through the dispatch console to the respondents, or from respondents to the console.

The dispatch console itself need not be in a static location, but could be ported to a mobile, networked device, such as a laptop.
 
IPICS 4.0 is fully integrated with Cisco's "Connected Physical Security" product portfolio, which includes IP cameras, video management, and physical access control. Web services application programming interfaces (APIs) enable users to integrate IPICS with third-party applications, including command and control, physical security information management (PSIM) and computer aided dispatch (CAD).

Further, a "pretty rich" scripting engine enables users to create custom responses to reside in the IPICS policy engine, Cotton said. The engine can push action templates to responders; via the API, it can also be tied to response policies residing within a PSIM solution, Cotton said. So the IPICS policy engine and a PSIM solution would be complementary, he noted.

With the APIs and scripting, enterprises could pull data from a variety of internal systems into IPICS incidents so that the data could be automatically forwarded to the dispatch console and/or mobile devices.

Page:   1   2  Next  »

Cisco adds dispatch console, interoperability for smart phones, other mobile devices to IPICS 4.0; APIs bring in PSIM, other systems

Cisco today is announcing availability of its IP Interoperability Collaboration System (IPICS) 4.0, styling it as a replacement for old, immobile dispatch consoles because of its ability to create a "collaborative" mobile incident management session among first responders, pushing and pulling live video and other media to an array of devices, including smart phones as well as traditional UHF/VHF radios.

Further, IPICS 4.0's policy engine "complements" physical security information management (PSIM) solutions an agency or enterprise might have in place, with the PSIM solution potentially pushing response templates to IPICS and its dispatch console, said Craig Cotton, senior director of product marketing, physical security business unit, at Cisco in a pre-release briefing with Security Squared.

Mobile Media-Rich Incident Management

Broadly, the release will enable entities to manage incidents and situations from any device with a network connection, with all responding parties able to share live or archived video, voice and other data using virtually any network-connected device, from standard telephones to smart phones. Only one agency needs to deploy IPICS 4.0 to enable the interconnections and data sharing.

For example, Bryant University was offered as a representative case study, in which its IPICS pilot installation is enabling collaboration among 13 first respond agencies throughout Rhode Island and two other states.
(See video case study of Bryant University's IPICS 4.0 pilot here.).

The other agencies are not necessarily using IP-based communications devices, explained Cotton; it's IPICS that manages the interoperability of devices. The other groups do not need to deploy any new technology.

The IPICS Mobile Client provides the multimedia data to the devices. It will debut as an "app" for Apple Inc.'s iPhone and then port to other devices. It can accommodate video from a variety of sources, including live, archived and Web-based, such as a YouTube video. Each of these sources can be patched through the dispatch console to the respondents, or from respondents to the console.

The dispatch console itself need not be in a static location, but could be ported to a mobile, networked device, such as a laptop.
 
IPICS 4.0 is fully integrated with Cisco's "Connected Physical Security" product portfolio, which includes IP cameras, video management, and physical access control. Web services application programming interfaces (APIs) enable users to integrate IPICS with third-party applications, including command and control, physical security information management (PSIM) and computer aided dispatch (CAD).

Further, a "pretty rich" scripting engine enables users to create custom responses to reside in the IPICS policy engine, Cotton said. The engine can push action templates to responders; via the API, it can also be tied to response policies residing within a PSIM solution, Cotton said. So the IPICS policy engine and a PSIM solution would be complementary, he noted.

With the APIs and scripting, enterprises could pull data from a variety of internal systems into IPICS incidents so that the data could be automatically forwarded to the dispatch console and/or mobile devices.

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Higher Availability, Lower Price

IPICS 4.0 customers may add a secondary hot standby server that would automatically take over if the primary server failed, Cotton said. The servers can be geographically separated or located together.

Communications among devices are secured via SSL, secure VPNs and secure HTML, said Hiebert.
Cisco is offering IPICS 4.0 in a smaller form factor, at a lower price point-- a $25,000 entry level price tag vs. $100,000 previously--with a variety of software bundles, said Cotton. The new pricing "has dramatically increased interest," in IPICs among universities and local and state agencies, including fire and police, he said.

The lower total cost of ownership for IPICS because it utilizes existing IP networks as well as the cost of an iPhone compared to radios should make it an attractive solution, Cotton said.

"I'm not suggesting every municipality, airport, police and fire department around the world is going to get rid of their radios and go with iPhones," he said, who pointed out the iPhone would not be a suitable radio replacement for customers using many different frequencies. Others, though, who tend to single channels and basic capabilities may find the IPICS 4.0 and its Mobile Client iPhone app especially appealing.

"For them, an iPhone may be a suitable replacement for what would be a $2000 radio," he said.

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