This blog post explores how the technology trend of convergence improves situational awareness, risk management and life safety.
The promise of technology is in prevention, as in preventing bad things from happening or facilitating the appropriate response if an emergency does occur. Of course, there are different types of emergencies – an overflowing toilet, a power outage, a fire, an armed intruder, etc.
But the good news is that there’s a risk management strategy and technology framework to detect threats and initiate the appropriate response plans – situational awareness. And it leverages several important technology trends to not just improve monitoring, alerting and reporting but to centralize those functions for a unified awareness experience that improves life safety.
Let’s touch on a technology trend called convergence, and how it can help improve risk management at your organization.
Convergence refers to the confluence of voice, data, wireless and even body-area networks that provides an unprecedented level of connectivity. The beauty of the World Wide Web is the world-wide part, so there’s Wi-Fi in buildings and cellular outside of buildings for roaming and handoff from office to home and anywhere in between. The meshing of networks and devices has created the Internet of Things, with Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group predicting some 25 billion devices will be connected by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020.
The power of this persistent connection makes it possible to do all sorts of great things. So leverage your data network – just don’t rely on if. By that I mean use it to send out alerts, via email for example, but alerts also should go out via landlines, smartphones, radios, PA systems and digital signage, such as wall boards, CCTVs and tablet-based kiosks.
Using multiple communication end points ensures redundancy, which is critical for life safety.
However, monitored sensors – from emergency call stations and fire alarms to access control and intrusion detection – should never be placed on an IP network because it has too many failure points (e.g., routers, PoE, cabling and access points). Life safety applications should always be on a dedicated mesh network.
Tune in next week when we explore mobility as a supercharged tech trend with life safety applications.