A Green Agenda – One man and his blog

A Green Agenda – One man and his blog

Mark Deakin
Mark Deakin

Now that we are in the season of festivals I have found myself digging out my wellingtons, packing up my tent, preparing my stomach for some dodgy burgers (and a few drinks) and ultimately listening to some really good music. Going to festivals is a great experience on its own but I was fortunate enough to see the inner workings of T in the Park 2008 when Tayside Fire and Rescue invited me along to see the Microsoft UC technology in action.

T in the Park, in case you didn’t know, takes place on a very large farm where resources and communications are somewhat limited. The internet connection is primitive, shared by all the services onsite and delivered through a connector poking out of the grass somewhere in the middle of a

field.

In one large white, but very dark, tent sits the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) where all of the emergency services are based. These services need to communicate not only with each other but also with their colleagues back at headquarters. As you would expect, enabling the uninterrupted flow of important information between the JOC and headquarters can be challenging due to the unpredictable and temporary nature of the network and IT systems.

Any UC system that is placed in this environment needs to be able to cope with the internet connection no matter the speed or the quality of the service. This is where OCS 2007 comes into its own. During the long weekend, I witnessed a number of video calls from the JOC and a video conference session using a Microsoft Roundtable, pretty amazing given the conditions. The OCS technology that powered these was unique to the Fire service as none of the others services in the room had started using this technology…. yet J.

Unified Communications should enable not only people in the office to interact effectively but also people ‘in the field’…I have seen that in action literally!

 
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