P25 workshop a model that others should consider
One of the great things about working for Urgent Communications is that there always is a lot of interesting stuff to write about, because the communications landscape seems to change on an almost-daily basis for the public-safety, government and commercial-enterprise sectors.
But all of this industry activity also can be a problem, because so much is happening that is difficult to write about everything we learn. When breaking news takes precedent, sometimes we put off writing stories that have information without a pressing time element. It shouldn’t happen, but sometimes it unfortunately does.
One such case occurred several weeks ago, when I attended a workshop on P25 best practices in Washington, D.C., that was sponsored by Tait Communications, the global communications firm with roots in New Zealand. The six-plus hours of discussion conducted by a panel of public-safety communications veterans was filled with useful information and insights regarding P25 systems—not just planning and building them, but also some of the things to look for in terms of best practices for ongoing maintenance and operations.
About halfway through the workshop, it was clear in my mind that the considerable knowledge shared by the panelists was worthy of a series of articles, which we begin publishing today and will continue for several newsletters. I regret taking so long to put this package together, but my hope is that our readership will find it helpful.
The organizers at Tait Communications deserve a ton of credit for creating an environment that was conducive to debate that was open, lively and vendor neutral. Upon arriving at the site, some panelists privately expressed concern that Tait officials would try to push a product portfolio or spin the conversation in a manner that would be beneficial to the company. Instead, there was virtually no mention of Tait during the entire workshop—in fact, employees even were prohibited from wearing shirts with the company logo on them.
Some cynical business folks may argue that sponsoring such an event without any company branding is foolhardy, but I disagree. By keeping the workshop environment vendor neutral, my belief is that Tait gained a great deal of respect from the participants as it demonstrated that it genuinely wants to be a P25 thought leader—and that’s a position that all companies should strive to achieve in their respective industries.
I hope that this workshop model is one that other companies in the communications-technology sector will seek to emulate—and try to better—in the future. If that happens, the industry would be better for it.