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Proposed ASEAN disaster response centre in Singapore could benefit from UCC tools

Zafirah Salim | May 26, 2014
Videoconferencing solutions enable government agency representatives and citizens to communicate and be informed, especially during times of emergency.

There are several issues with which they may have to contend. The suitability of the location as a coordination centre would be the first factor. Does it have enough space? Does it have an uninterruptible power supply? What about appropriate wiring and connectivity?

One also has to ensure that emergency call centres in the region have the ability to receive texts, photos and video feeds as well. This may require some updating to older systems that do not have these capabilities.

A lack of homogeneity in terms of network infrastructure may also affect connectivity. Ensuring the networks of all participating countries are of a set standard would ensure optimum connectivity.

Another complication that could arise would be the interoperability of communication systems between the various emergency services in ASEAN.  A great amount of care would have to be taken when choosing vendors and during the integration process to ensure high levels of compatibility. 

Beyond that, drafting and securing buy-in for an Emergency Management Governance Memorandum of Understanding could take some time. Coordinating training to ensure all stakeholders are adequately trained would also be a process that would have to be carefully managed and executed.  

Currently, do you see any future advances in unified collaboration communications technology that could change the way multiple agencies coordinate and handle natural disasters?

We are seeing some exciting developments occurring in the field of geographic information systems (GIS) and its integration into UC systems. GIS integrates hardware, software and data for capturing, managing, analysing and displaying all forms of geographically-referenced information. When coupled with UC, this results in a powerful way of analysing and sharing relevant information in times of a crisis.

We are also seeing a push in terms of developing and fielding mobile video commands. Mobility and the internet of things are two concepts that are also trending at the moment. UCC is very likely to take advantage of these trends and organisations are looking at ways to integrate more devices and better make sense of and display the information they can glean from their IoT network.

 

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