Modern radio systems are really just complex computer networks joining together groups of radios, each of which at times needs to perform as a single entity, as part of a “group” of radios and as part of an infrastructure of system of computers/radios operating under a common control system.
It sounds complex because it is. In simple terms every radio system has four basic categories of information that need to be managed in order for the radios and the system to function properly, especially during the repair/service process.
System Architecture – The system architecture refers to the infrastructure that is the technical backbone on which the radio system operates. This consists of many complex components, including repeaters which require Industry Canada licensing, which are tuned and programmed to operate in a particular manner.
Fleet Mapping – The structure and programming of the system infrastructure is designed to provide unique services and communications groupings specific to the client needs. This integrates the specific features and capabilities of each radio with talk groups that reflect who needs to talk to whom, at what priority, etc. This is the key to the functionality of modern radio systems. A good way to think of this is to liken fleet mapping to DNA mapping where every radio is both part of a talk group that relates/affiliates with a specific part/segment of the infrastructure while still maintaining its individual identity.
Radio Programming – The fleet mapping is then programmed into individual radios on a SN Serial Number specific level that provides the radio, and its user, specific communication capabilities, identification and other features. So long as the fleet mapping at both the network and radio levels remain solid and precise, everything works fine. Once this very complex but delicate/precise relationship becomes flawed in any manner, serious issues can and do occur.
Commercial Mapping – Who owns what, pays for what and how they pay for services is critical. The #2 problem cited by virtually all our major clients relates to “Accurate and timely invoicing”. Not only is the financial part important in view of the costs that poor invoicing attracts, but also in regards to the increasing need to track asset costs and performance.
The bottom line is that maintaining proper and up-to-date archives on a radio system is critical to system efficacy. Though most system are properly “Documented” upon installation, very few are managed on an ongoing basis to ensure that all the critical details are properly managed through the warranty period and beyond.
So, think of the archival system for a radio system as your medical history. Accuracy and real-time updating of pertinent data is as critical to the health of your radio system as is to your personal health and wellbeing. With so much depending on the function of your radio system, rigorous radio system archival data is absolutely essential to safety, ROI and your business.
Questions about setting up an effective archive, or having your archive managed on your behalf? Contact us directly.