October 2017 Newsletter

October 2017

Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.

Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:

  • PSAP Consolidation
  • NextGen/911 Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Public Safety Communications and Telephony
  • Public Safety Applications and Systems Requirements and Implementation Support
  • Mission Critical Facilities Design and Fit-Out
  • 311 Call Centers and Implementation
  • PSAP Staffing and Operations Analysis

Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.


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For more information about our services and solutions, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

Evaluating CAD, Mobile, RMS, FMS and EMS Applications


Over the years, most agencies have relied on IT professionals to develop hardware, operating software and application software requirements. Emergency telecommunicators, sworn officers, firefighters and medics have provided some input in the evaluation and selection process, but typically they haven't had the opportunity to research the myriad of solution options available in the industry. More often than not, this has resulted in the acquisition of application software that, while the system meets the agency's basic needs, it can fall short in some of the other critical areas: such as workflow improvements, reduction of response times or increased productivity. As discussed in our previous article (Preparing for the Future of Public Safety Technology - July 2017), it is no longer sufficient for agencies to simply update technology solutions. Agencies need to articulate a clear vision and create a long-term roadmap that staff and the public served can understand.


State-of-the-art application software should to be at the core of an agency's long-term operations and strategic plan. Whether upgrading existing CAD, Mobile, RMS, FMS and EMS applications, or replacing them with software from a different vendor; there are a number of steps that can provide an agency with valuable insights during the decision-making process.


Determine the Effectiveness of Your Current Application Software.

  • Does it provide adequate process and workflow for your staff?
  • Does it meet front-line and management staff needs?
  • Does it provide the reporting, graphs, mapping, dashboard, interactive situational awareness, etc., tools necessary to effectively manage your agency?
  • Is it designed to accommodate future national standards and requirements such as NG911, ESINet, FirstNet, CJIS, NFIRS, NEMSIS3 and EIDD/NIEM.
  • Is your current application vendor financially secure and does the vendor allocate a sufficient amount of their budget 1) to research/development, 2) to meeting the national standards and 3) to implement future technology?
  • Does your current vendor's application roadmap meet your agency's expectations and requirements?
  • A crucial component of the above process is the documentation of your findings, particularly in those areas that align with your agency's needs.


If a decision is made to acquire new application software, the following steps can help an agency improve the likelihood of success. Several of these steps can also assist the agency in an upgrade process as it will help them focus on key issues.


Review Current Industry and Technology Trends.

  • Review the application vendors that have successfully provided software and services to agencies similar to your agency's size and complexity. For example, if you are a small to medium size agency, it would most likely involve a review of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vendors. If you are a medium to large agency, it would involve a review of Tier 0 and Tier 1 vendors.
  • Prior to developing detailed application requirements, it would be beneficial to attend demos from as many of the top vendors in your tier group as possible in order to become familiar with their software solutions and to identify industry trends. Very often, this can be accomplished by visiting the vendor booths at the various regional and national conferences. This also provides an opportunity for your agency to familiarize yourselves with technology, application and industry trends.
  • Based on the demos, select references that are similar in size and structure to your agency. Contact the agency references to find out how well the solution that they acquired is working with their agency's policies, work flow and process flow.
  • Did the software accommodate their work and information flows? Inquire as to how issues were identified and resolved. What were the difficulties they encountered in areas such as retraining the staff, and/or modifying the policies, work and process flow. Also find out the level of application software acceptance and utilization by front-line and management staff.
  • Research those vendors that appear to fit your application requirements to ensure that they have the financial security and research/development spending necessary to be your long-term technology partner. Remember, that on average, agencies stay with their application software provider ten to fifteen years.


Review Your Agency Policies, Workflow and Processes.

  • Document your strategic vision and operational roadmap for the next 3 to 10 years.
  • Document current workflow, process flow and policies within your agency.
  • Compare your workflow, process flow and policies with the agencies that utilize the new technology from the top 3 to 5 application software providers. Determine and document which policies, work, and process flow improvements would benefit your agency the most.
  • Develop a needs-assessment document detailing the areas within your agency that would benefit the most with the acquisition of a new application solution.


Development of a Request For Proposal (RFP) or Request For Information (RFI)

  • Using the information derived from the previous steps, develop a detailed application software requirements document.
  • Develop a detailed implementation requirements document.
  • Develop a detailed hardware and operating software requirements document.
  • Develop a formal RFP or RFI document and publish it.
  • Review and compare RFP or RFI responses utilizing an evaluation matrix.
  • Select the top 3 to 5 vendors to do in-depth demos.
  • Develop scenarios that you'd like the vendors to address in order to ensure that the proposed solutions will meet your agency's requirements. Ask the vendors to incorporate the scenarios you developed into their demos in order for you to better evaluate the fit of the proposed solution to your agency's needs.
  • Based on the RFP or RFI review and scoring, as well as the in-depth demos, select 2 or 3 vendors that best meet your requirements, and set up in-depth onsite agency visits preferably with those agencies that you had previously used as reference checks for that vendor.
  • Select the solution and vendor that best meets your requirements, work/process flow and technology roadmap.


In today's fast-paced technology world and tight budgets, one of the major issues facing agencies is that new technology acquisitions require anticipating future needs which are oftentimes either only roughly defined or several years away from actual deployment. These factors, when combined with other key issues such as systems acquisitions, are time-consuming, expensive, and have long-term consequences; the benefits of devoting resources and time to developing an encompassing and well-developed approach to systems acquisitions becomes apparent.


Winbourne Consulting has the experience and the Public Safety industry knowledge to help with all, or any of the steps required to acquire the best solution, and one that will meet your agency's needs now and well into the future.


Winbourne Happenings


Winbourne Consulting is supporting the Hyannis, MA Fire Department in conducting a Technology Assessment and Gap Analysis. The focus of the project is on upgrading the HYFD's Computer Aided Dispatch, Records Management, Mobile Data, Fire House Alerting, and Radio systems.


Winbourne Consulting meets with Jakarta Indonesia's disaster management agency — BPBD Provinsi DKI to discuss 112 emergency communications. BPBD is the lead agency for the provincial government for providing 112 emergency communications services.

Industry Events


NG9-1-1 Standards & Best Practice Conference | Jan 15-18 Orlando





Articles of Interest


Smarter Camera Systems for Better Surveillance

Using a $1.57 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a University of Houston researcher is working to make surveillance cameras smart enough to recognize and alert public-safety managers at the first sign of threats. The catch, Shah said, is that the algorithms are based on certain assumptions. For instance, researchers assume the distributed network of cameras is always collecting data about the locations under observation, that the information is useful and that the quality is something from which an algorithm can extract information.




Urgent CommunicationsOregon, Washington Issue Joint RFP for Potential FirstNet Alternative RAN

The states of Oregon and Washington issued a joint request for proposal seeking proposals from vendors willing to build and operate an alternative public-safety radio access network in either state or both under an "opt-out" scenario.




TIA, SCF Partner to Accelerate Smart Cities, Enterprise Connectivity

The Small Cell Forum and the Telecommunications Industry Association announced a far-reaching alliance to address two of the most important growth areas in connectivity - smart communities and smart buildings. They will share existing work and expertise and develop solutions that simplify and accelerate deployment of dense networks and in-building connectivity. This effort will help make smart communities a reality everywhere and drive advanced connectivity into every enterprise building.




FEMA integrates GIS Tech Into Hurricane Response and Recovery

The Federal Emergency Management Agency Hurricane Journal uses geospatial system technology from Esri to combine information from all those sources into a cloud-based dashboard for disaster-response decision-making. The Hurricane Journal draws on data from joint field offices, disaster recovery centers, shelters and other sources. It is organized into sections with maps related to support, resources, assistance, population, building impacts, transportation and infrastructure.