A software platform for a control room needs to be reliable and a total solution for effective management. It needs to integrate various makes of decoders, communication and interface systems for a unified interpretation of incoming events. It should also provide the ability to keep track of staff and expenses, all the while providing the tools for exceptional customer service.
Emphasis needs to be placed on who the original developer is; choose a software product that is developed by an industry specialist with first-hand experience in running a security control room. The associated expense of the platform needs to be cost-effective.
Reliability plus stability is the name of the game in control room software. The software system needs the capability of processing event signals in a timeous manner. Look for a platform that has a rental option, which includes normal support along with 24-hour critical support. The two support types are not always viewed the same, as costs differ for each type of support. After-hours critical support is essential, as you will need the peace of mind to know that help is at hand whenever you need it.
The rental option is a great option for businesses that are starting out as they offer the added benefit of a tax savings, as it not a capital layout to the business. The rental and support agreements should not have any long contractual periods.
Rented software has the added bonus of always being up to date. Technology changes all the time, to stay ahead you will need to stay in step with technology. Software upgrades can be costly, look for an option that includes updates.
When choosing a software package, have a look at the ‘ease of use’ for your data captures and controllers. The money saved on specialist training can be huge. Controllers need to be able to learn the basic functions quickly and easily so that staff can get back to providing service to your clients quickly. Look for a software package that incorporates various ergonomic features: the focus needs to be on ease-of-use, while implementing multi-sensory concepts like colour and sound making events easier to understand.
The operating system for the software needs to be familiar. It must be able to be loaded on most computer systems that meet the minimum requirements for the software platform. It must also be responsive and flexible in regards to integration with hardware components. This ensures that you can use the program for years to come, even if your current hardware system becomes obsolete. A great system has no limitations on:
• The base stations or interface decoders used.
• On the amount of sites that will be monitored.
• The number of users that are going to be using the system.
Security is essential to control room software. Data encryption of sensitive data, like ID numbers, passwords etc., is a must-have. Audit trails and event logs will ensure the tracking of staff input and accountability. A secure key is advised to limit the risk to your data, this can secure access to the data of your clients and also the integrity of your security operation in the era of corporate espionage.
The software platform needs the ability to scale to fit your business’ growing needs. A flexible pricing structure will insure that the package can extend with the growth of your business. The core program needs to come complete with all functionality, but be responsive to your individual needs. These factors are crucial when choosing a powerful management system for control rooms – no matter where you are located.
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