February 2015 Newsletter

The Impact on Your Organization by the Acquisition of Your Systems Vendor

 

Mergers and AcquisitionsTriTech Software System’s recent acquisition of Tiburon has generated a lot of questions in the public safety/PSAP community with the main theme being “what do we do if our CAD/RMS company is acquired by another company?” While customers of the acquired CAD/RMS company should have a heightened sense of awareness, there is no reason to panic.

 

Mergers and acquisitions occur all of the time and are part of the normal business environment. Additionally, the company that acquires the CAD/RMS business and its customers typically understands the public safety environment and generally do not initiate immediate changes that could affect PSAP, police, fire and EMS operations. That said, some type of change will occur. CAD/RMS customers should not ignore the acquisition and assume everything will remain exactly the same. It is interesting that for some people, the initial news of an acquisition is perceived as “bad news” when in reality it may result in significant improvements to the company and to its customers.

 

We recommend that customers take the following steps if their CAD/RMS company has been acquired.

 

  1. Understand the contract – Use this as an opportunity to read and understand every aspect of the current contract and particularly the support/maintenance agreement. Unfortunately, too often we encounter PSAPs and public safety departments that do not have a good understanding of precisely what is in the contract and support/maintenance agreement. And to be clear – understanding the contract does not just mean reading it cover to cover. Some contracts are so full of legal terms that it is the equivalent of reading a foreign language. Be open to asking for assistance from your procurement and legal departments to help translate what the contract states. When it comes to contract language do not make any assumptions – always obtain clarification.
  2. Notify the appropriate chain of command and contract entities – No one likes to be surprised by news of this nature. It is important that leadership in the appropriate chain of command are notified of the acquisition. This includes those entities such as procurement and legal that were responsible for the original contract and ongoing contract enforcement. Keep the update clear, concise and factual. Use the exact same letter or email that the company published. Do not make any editorial comments or suppositions about what will occur.
  3. Contact the CAD/RMS company account manager – Contact the account manager to obtain an up to date list of all company points of contact and key players. Expect that the account manager may not know much more than what was originally announced. The objective is to maintain a line of communication so that your organization stays in the loop as changes occur. Advise the account manager who to contact when new information is learned that can be shared with customers.
  4. Engage your CAD/RMS user community – Most of the major CAD/RMS companies have some form of a user group. Reach out to this community to help you stay informed. Network with other organizations that are in the same situation. Leverage the fact that a team of customer agencies is more powerful than a single organization.
  5. Establish a rumor control process – These types of situations generate a plethora of rumors. Create a process in which all rumors can be collected, vetted with the appropriate CAD/RMS company contact and then publish factual information to all personnel. Never make a decision based on a rumor – always run it down in both directions (i.e., source of the rumor and the entity that may know the true facts).
  6. Learn about the new company – Do some homework on the acquiring company. What products and services do they offer and who is their customer base? What is their reputation in the business and public safety space? Does the acquiring company provide any new opportunities that could benefit the organization?
  7. Complete a current state of CAD/RMS assessment – Use this opportunity to assess the current state of the CAD/RMS system. Is it providing the operational functionality and features the organization requires to meet its strategic vision and plan? Is the system dependable, robust, and performing as desired? Document any outstanding issues. How does the current system’s capabilities compare with state-of-the-art systems?
  8. Complete a high-level “what if” session – It is imperative to start a discussion concerning all scenarios from good to bad. Complete an objective discussion walking through each type of scenario that could occur and the options for each scenario including impact on the organization, costs, risks, level of effort, skills required, etc.

 

Police RecordsThe overall goal is to be proactive versus reactive. A clear understanding of all aspects and options will lead to objective and informed decisions.

 

If external assistance is needed we are available to assist an organization with any questions. We have extensive experience in dealing with contracts and organizational change. Winbourne Consulting is an independent public safety consulting firm and as such is not engaged in the selling, supporting, or leasing public safety systems and are not affiliated with any hardware or software vendors. We are however, familiar with the capabilities of all top-tier and numerous other CAD/RMS vendors in the public safety market.

 

Winbourne Happenings

 

Lisa Madden, ENP Joins Winbourne Consulting

Lisa Madden, ENP has joined We are pleased to announce the addition of Lisa Madden to the Winbourne Consulting team. Lisa joins us as the Director of NG9-1-1 and FirstNet. Lisa spent over 10 years with Intrado, where she was involved in various NG911, telematics, and telecommunications projects. Lisa will be responsible for Business Development and management of Winbourne Consulting projects in the NG9-1-1 and FirstNet areas. She will also provide Subject Matter Expertise to many of our projects including several active projects. Lisa earned her ENP certification in 2013, and continues to be active in local and national NENA events. Lisa can be reached at emadden@w-llc.com or 207-756-9989 (mobile).

 

 

Connect Me LogoWinbourne Consulting is pleased to announce our relationship with Tilson Technology Management, Portland ME to assist with the State of Maine’s FirstNet project. Specifically, Winbourne Consulting is providing Subject Matter Expertise to assist the ConnectME Authority in administering the State and Local Implementation Grant Program. Some of the assistance to be provided include: looking at the importance of collaborating with all aspects of the Public Safety community as Stakeholders in this program, identifying the issues the State might encounter with this eventual implementation, and assisting in Maine’s FirstNet Consultation process. This important project is picking up steam and ConnectME will participate in an upcoming Regional FirstNet meeting in cooperation with the other New England states, as well as sponsoring a presence at the upcoming Maine NENA and MEMA annual conferences. We are excited to be part of this national project to improve communication among First Responders.

 

Fairfax County LogoWinbourne Consulting has been awarded a contract to provide Fairfax County, VA with Information Technology Staff Augmentation services for various County Departments including Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). This award is for Winbourne to provide the County with various IT Staff Expertise and Subject Matter Experts to augment their current staff, on an as needed basis and as requested by the County. Award categories include Systems Analysts, Systems Engineers, Project management Specialists, General Management Analysts, and others. Winbourne has provided expertise in many of the software and hardware platforms in use by the County.

 

Industry Events

 

911 Goes to Washington“9-1-1 Goes to Washington” A Recap of Key Topics

 

Winbourne Consulting attended “9-1-1 Goes to Washington” on Feb 22-25, 2015. This annual gathering, sponsored by NENA is an opportunity for NENA members to be updated on legislative issues affecting 9-1-1, and to influence and educate our elected officials on key 9-1-1 topics. This year’s event included discussions on many topics, including the three summarized below:

 

  1. Location Accuracy for Indoor Wireless E9-1-1 Calls Brian Fontes, CEO, opened this year’s conference with addressing the national and regional press coverage inspired by the tragic story of Shannelle Anderson, in Alpharetta Georgia, who recently died while desperately trying to communicate her location to 9-1-1 via her cellphone while outdoors. News reports abound on the inability of 9-1-1 to pinpoint a caller’s location, and although there are often many factors that contribute to this challenge (and the news reports are not always clear on the nuances of separate contributing issues), indoor location accuracy, in particular, is a real concern. Indoor Wireless e9-1-1 Location Accuracy is addressed in the FCC’s Jan 2015 ruling. Provisions of the Final Rules (paraphrased from a NENA summary document provided to attendees) require: the creation of a “permanent location accuracy testbed”; emphasize the delivery of a “Dispatchable location” to the PSAP, validated against local E9-1-1 databases; establish metrics and reporting, with regard to increasingly accurate location goals for the wireless carriers; and address the transition to delivering “Z” coordinates identifying the vertical location of callers. Roadmap and Parallel Path specifics were also reviewed, and there is no doubt that the wireless carriers, the FCC, and the Public Safety community are moving forward to ensure better Wireless location accuracy for citizens in need.
  2. MLTS Proposed Legislation. The inability for some Multi-line Telephone Systems to reach 9-1-1 has received national attention highlighted by a tragedy in Dec 2013 in Texas. Legislation has been drafted, to require that hotels and office buildings provide direct access to 9-1-1 (no prefix required in dialing 9-1-1); location information is delivered with the 9-1-1 call; local personnel are notified that 9-1-1 has been dialed so they can escort first responders to the calling party; and, with few exceptions, 9-1-1 calls must go to the PSAP. Due to the awareness of “Kari’s Law” and the events in Texas, many nationwide hotel chains have enacted these changes already, in advance of this pending legislation. During Tuesday evening’s NG9-1-1 Honors Gala, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and Mr. Hank Hunt, Kari’s father, acknowledged the tremendous progress in 2014, and thanked the bill’s many supporters. More information on the MLTS proposed legislation can be found at: www.nena.org/page=MLTS_PBX.
  3. 911 Reliability, Governance and Accountability. Major storms and “sunny day” outages severely disrupted 9-1-1 call delivery in 2012 and 2014, leading the FCC to propose an NPRM for a governance framework in November 2014, to reduce the risks associated with these large scale outages. In summary, the NPRM proposes to: amend current 911 reliability certification rules to account for additional entities and network reliability practices; require public notification for major changes in multi-state networks and services; obtain FCC approval for discontinuance of existing 911 services; require providers of new 9-1-1 capabilities to certify as to their technical and operational capabilities; enhance situational awareness in the event of a 9-1-1 outage. Comments to the NPRM are due Mar 9 , with replies due Apr 7. More info can be found at: http://www.fcc.gov/document/911-governance-and-accountability-policy-statement-and-nprm

 

 

 

APCO Emerging Technology Forum 2014March 10-11, 2015

Dallas Marriott City Center

Dallas, Texas

 

This two-day event will bring together attendees and industry leaders to discuss technologies that are on the horizon and address the challenges of the ever-changing landscape of public safety communications.

 

http://techforum.apcointl.org/

 

National Public Safety Telecommunicators WeekNational Public Safety Telecommunicators Week – April 12-18, 2015.

 

Every year during the second week of April, the telecommunications personnel in the public safety community, are honored. This week-long event, initially set up in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office in California, is a time to celebrate and thank those who dedicate their lives to serving the public. It is a week that should be set aside so everyone can be made aware of their hard work and dedication.

 

HTTP://NPSTW.ORG/

 

APCO’s Annual Public Safety Broadband SummitAPCO’s Annual Public Safety Broadband Summit provides a forum for technology experts, policy leaders, industry partners, wireless service providers, and public safety professionals to discuss timely issues affecting the deployment of the FirstNet nationwide public safety broadband network.

HTTP://BROADBANDSUMMIT.APCOINTL.ORG/

 

39TH ANNUAL LEIM CONFERENCE39TH ANNUAL LEIM CONFERENCE

The Call for Presentations has closed and the LEIM Board of Officers is evaluating the workshop proposals received. Selections will be made shortly and the full conference program will be announced

 

39TH ANNUAL LEIM CONFERENCE: MAY 18-20, 2015

 

Articles of Interest

 

APCO Public Safety CommunicationsFCC Signals Support, Issues Public Notice on APCO, NENA, Carriers Location Accuracy Plan

APCO’s success in joining with NENA has reached a landmark consensus plan with the nation’s four largest carriers to improve wireless 9-1-1 location accuracy for both indoor and outdoor calls. APCO, NENA and the four industry partners formally submitted our roadmap for achieving improvements in location accuracy to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

 

http://psc.apcointl.org/2014/11/20/fcc-signals-support-issues-public-notice-on-apco-nena-carriers-location-accuracy-plan/

 

 

ICMA LogoDisaster Risk Reduction, Preparedness, and Recovery

Extensive experience in the United States has laid the foundation for ICMA’s international work; for many years the organization has been in the forefront of helping local government officials plan for and respond to disasters. Utilizing an extensive network of well-qualified local practitioners and experienced international consultants, ICMA International emphasizes sustainability, capacity-building, and institutional strengthening in order to help communities become more disaster-resistant.

 

http://icma.org/en/international/services/expertise/disaster_mitigation_recovery

 

 

Radio Resource Media GroupFCC Adopts Indoor 9-1-1 Location Accuracy

The FCC voted unanimously to adopt new location accuracy rules aimed at improving wireless 9-1-1 location accuracy for indoor environments. The order incorporates many of the proposals outlined in the roadmap plan submitted to the FCC in November the four nationwide wireless carriers along with the APCO and NENA. The order focuses on two approaches for locating wireless callers indoors. The order requires all wireless carriers to provide a dispatchable location or X and Y coordinates within 50 meters of the caller, and carriers must meet these standards for 40 percent of all wireless 9-1-1 calls within two years, 50 percent within three years and 70 percent within five years.

http://www.rrmediagroup.com/newsArticle.cfm?news_id=11656

 

 

RAND Corporation LogoHigh-Priority Information Technology Needs for Law Enforcement

This study reports on strategic planning activities supporting the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in the area of information technology, collecting and analyzing data on law enforcement needs and offering potential solutions through technology assessment studies. The top-ranking necessities are a broad need to improve the law enforcement community's knowledge of technology and practices, a broad need to improve the sharing and use of law enforcement--relevant information, and a need to conduct research, development, testing, and evaluation on a range of topics.

http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR737.html