As public-safety communications systems become increasingly complex, more agencies are looking for alternatives to traditional funding and network-management models, according to Motorola Solutions representatives.

“There’s risk in the technology shift, and I also think—if you look at the IT industry—there’s a bigger shift to the cloud and outsourcing the network and components themselves and looking for (service-level agreements) for what they really need and having somebody else deal with the management of the hardware and the software,” Wayne Anderson, manager of Motorola Solutions’ global solutions and services managed services offer development team, said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

Motorola Solutions offers different financing options based on an agency’s preferences and willingness to share, or relinquish, ownership of their network. Some options let agencies pay for the bulk of products and services within their operating budgets over time, rather than wait for one-time funding sources to cover a large capital outlay.

“There are different levels or different opportunities that the customer can choose from to go to different degrees of op-ex [operational expenses],” Anderson said.

That includes options designed to address a range of needs, from users who want predictable expenses for upgrades to agencies seeking a planned, gradual approach for a network migration to those looking to hand over the responsibility—and risk—associated with network ownership to a third party.

None of these options are especially new, but Motorola Solutions spokesman Steve Gorecki said the company is seeing more interest in them, partly because of the growing sophistication of communications systems. Gorecki described the financing options as a key element of what more customers are requesting.

“As the systems become more complex and more data-driven, a lot of customers don’t want to get into that kind of level of work,” Gorecki said.

Kirk Miller, offer manager for lifecycle management services with Motorola Solutions, estimated that at least a third of the company’s contracts were some form of system-upgrade or software-maintenance agreement for ASTRO 25 users looking to keep their system up to date.

“We’re seeing that continue to grow as the customers realize that these networks are really more [like] large IT networks rather than the traditional circuit-based radio systems of the past,” Miller said.