Since we started developing Perspective in 2005, integration has always been a key part of the solution and strategy for PPM. We identified convergence not just as a trend but more a new way of thinking about business line applications. We first looked at integration as being a one-way process for incident reporting. As incidents occurred and were detected we wanted an easy way for that information to be pushed to Perspective. This would ensure the process of follow up, recording and investigating of an incident could occur regardless of where and when the incident was first detected, recorded, or reported. This level of integration led us to the Perspective Gateway and e-Reporting where any incident could be submitted via e-Reporting or the import API and subsequently reviewed via the Perspective Gateway, then accepted or rejected into the system.
As our clients expanded their use of Perspective and embraced integration between systems, we introduced Integration Services for full two-way integration of Perspective data. This allowed other systems to search data within Perspective, so additional information could be added to existing incidents as it was discovered throughout an investigation. Two-way integration has led to a huge number of possibilities, including integration of person data from other systems, and easily working with systems where data includes photos, videos and other attachments.
Some of the most effective integrations are related to human resources systems (e.g., SAP, Oracle, IBM) and their person records. Using Integration Services and a custom adapter, all relevant person information can be loaded into the Perspective system and used in incidents, activities and investigations. This provides synchronized, real-time information for all frontline Perspective users and removes the unnecessary burden of data entry.
We have now reached a third milestone in integration with DispatchLog. Given the nature of the dispatcher’s job as very reactive to often time-sensitive situations, we knew integration had to be more real-time focused. Two-way integration is perfect for on demand integrations where you create or update data… but to stay up to date with a real-time system, you’d have to constantly poll the system to check for updates. With the latest version of DispatchLog, we have introduced event-based integrations.
With event-based integration, other systems can subscribe to events. This process allows for criteria to be included in the subscription so other systems are only notified when an event occurs that is relevant to them. We support two methods for events: the first is data-based events. These data-based events allow external systems to monitor for new activities the dispatcher is working on, updates to existing activities and officers responding to these activities. So, for example, if another system needs to be aware of a call to Security relating to high priority events, they can subscribe and will be notified any time that type of activity is recorded. This is a very powerful real-time integration because there is no delay between the event occurring in our system and the notification going out to subscribing systems.
DispatchLog has also introduced user-based events; these allow the user to trigger other systems to respond to context-sensitive content from the dispatching interface. These user-based events support the mapping of up to 3 hotkeys, or the use of the Control key, while clicking to relay information about the current activity or officer they are focused on to other systems. This allows for control of video walls, mapping tools, or person and location specific information to all be displayed based on what the dispatcher is currently working on. These integrations will make dispatchers much more efficient as they can control external systems without leaving the dispatch interface.
We have one client looking to take advantage of this powerful integration option already. They want to set up their alarm systems (AMAG, OnGuard, CodeBlue) to automatically create dispatch events that need to be actioned by command center personnel. Once the alarm information has entered DispatchLog, command center personnel will use hotkeys to look at cameras (Pelco’s Endura) relevant to the alarms on their video wall, using context-sensitive information from the dispatching screen(s), such as alarm or officer locations. This new ability to leverage other command center software using context-sensitive information from DispatchLog will fundamentally change the way dispatching is done in every organization that chooses to leverage it.
DispatchLog also includes a specialized integration with Mass Notification systems. This gives dispatchers the ability to send out full scale notifications on a specific activity they are dealing with, such as bomb threats or active shooter messages. Mass Notification integration currently supports a native integration to the MIR3 system, InEnterprise. This gives dispatchers even more control and flexibility to manage all activities from the DispatchLog interface without needing to bounce around in other systems.
Integrated systems are here to stay and we look forward to continuing to evolve and innovate how we communicate with the other systems in your organization. Please leave comments on integrations you are working on, or ideas you have for integrating with other systems in your security department, or across your company.
—Lee Marsh, Director, Custom Technical Services