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BW Businessworld

The Next Big Thing In Situation Management

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Situation awareness, as we know it, began as the cobbling of multiple disparate systems, such as access control, intrusion detection and video surveillance. Over the years, several customers have expanded their solution as their needs changed, adopting multiple systems into the security environment, with the means of acquisitions or mergers, through growth or simply moving into new facilities with existing systems.
The security information management market has set out to help security directors with these cobbled-together systems. This has resulted in a strategic sensor network that brought all these systems together, covered a company's primary areas of risk - potentially in many disparate geo-locations - and enabled security officers to access remote security information.
Today, several new trends are driving a shift in situation management technology:
  • Cities and businesses face a greater number of threats than ever before, including terrorism, crime, accidents, disasters and the unknown
  • The crime rate is increasing in waves and suppression is more difficult manually
  • Meanwhile, the ways in which we gather intelligence, respond to incidents and communicate with each other have become increasingly advanced
  • Finally, individual citizens are more informed and more involved than ever before
As a result, today's situation management systems need to provide real-time response that leverages the power of newer technologies and mass notification to help ensure the right people are involved and notified at every stage of an incident. The need of the hour is a powerful incident management solution that is ideal for safe city, large corporate and enterprise environments. It should provide operators with a unified view of all networked platforms, including security, life safety and business optimization. Real-time situational awareness through the solution will enable efficient response and notification, effective investigation and debriefing, as well as preventive intelligence, planning and compliance. When an enterprise has full situation awareness, every step improves the next.
As the security industry has continually evolved over the last several decades, Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) technology has played a crucial role and has remained relatively unchanged. But today, we're on the brink of a significant PSAP revolution, in which the day-to-day public safety working environment is dramatically evolving. The paramount part to all of this is how PSAP is about to become even more invaluable to any agency that provides emergency management or response.
In the near future, this type of forensic data will also be available to PSAP operators. The insight, in addition to data from sources such as medical alert databases, commercial video sources, and probation and parole lists, will help create a proactive-rather than reactive-security environment. With data analytics technology, PSAPs can make sense out of enormous amounts of information, detect patterns and serve the citizens better for whom they work to protect.
Today's enterprises use a variety of security, life safety and business optimization systems, with each of these programs requiring operators to view the applications separately. To help streamline operations and enhance safety, operators need a unified view of all networked platforms. To integrate incongruent systems and truly achieve real-time awareness, a growing number of organizations are turning to advanced situation intelligence technology. Next-generation security management solutions (SMC) seamlessly integrate hundreds of different systems and sensors into one user-friendly, highly effective interface.Bringing multiple systems together powered by the right platform and solution combines information from numerous sources to increase operational efficiencies and responsiveness enterprise-wide.
SMC gathers and analyses information from an enormous assortment of sources, including mobile reporters, GPS tracking, CAD and communications, mass notification, license-plate recognition, face recognition, weather, radar, external databases, video analytics, video management systems, panic, intrusion detection, fire, access control and watch lists. The solution can even leverages the power of crowdsourcing to incorporate knowledge and evidence from individuals. For example, a person using her smart phone to snap a photo of a shooting suspect, sending it to her company's SMC. The operator immediately dispatches mobile responders to that specific location and can also send an emergency alert to anyone else in the area so they'll know to take shelter.
This would result in fewer casualties and injuries, faster responses, more effective investigation and prosecution and ideally better preparedness for the next incident, something any business or government agency could benefit from.