Figure 1. Cisco IPICS Solution
Product Features and Benefits
• High Availability Option: The IPICS 4.0 system has the option of adding a secondary hot standby server to provide high availability with no single point of failure. If a primary server fails, the secondary server automatically takes over service without communication interruption. The servers can be geographically separated or located together. Administrative functions and data logs are constantly synchronized to avoid any loss of information should a server go down.
• Loop Prevention: As multiple dispatchers patch channels together, there is always the possibility of creating a channel loop that causes audio feedback into the communication path. The IPICS 4.0 system automatically identifies potential audio loops and resolves them before they become an issue. Audio channels and talkgroups remain clear without feedback.
• Radio Pooling: Radio pooling enables the IPICS system administrator to group dispatch radio assets together into logical radio pools. Dispatchers, when accessing specific radio channels, no longer require tone or serial radio control to specific radios but may instead select specific channels or talkgroups. IPICS then locates a radio asset and performs tone/serial control without user intervention.
• Enhanced incident management: The Cisco IPICS Server Administration Console provides a Web-enabled, easy-to-use interface for orchestrating communications across devices, technologies and locations (Figure 2). The dispatcher can combine resources, including users and channels, to create Virtual Talk Groups (VTGs) and can quickly add or remove resources depending on incident status. For example, a VTG can combine an 800MHz Project 25 digital radio channel with a VHF analog radio channel, several PC-based Cisco IPICS PMC Dispatch Console users, IPICS Mobile Client, and Cisco IPICS IP-Phone users. When the Cisco IPICS Policy Engine is used, telephone participants can also be included in the VTG, and the dispatcher can send notifications and automatically call and invite VTG participants on an as-needed basis.
• Role-based management: The Cisco IPICS Server provides compartmentalized functions for personnel who need to perform different roles. When you are added to the system, you are assigned a role that defines your access privileges. You can change your profile at any time. The following roles, including an "all roles" assignment, are supported:
– System administrator: The system administrator configures the server and its features, manages Cisco IPICS licenses and PMC versions, creates operational views, and monitors the status of the system and its users through the activity log files. The system administrator can administer all resources in the Cisco IPICS system.
– Operational Views administrator: The operational views administrator facilitates sharing of system resources and information across ownership and organizational boundaries. When two or more agencies, jurisdictions, locations, or departments need to collaborate, the operational views administrator enables each participating entity to maintain control of its resources.
– Operator: The operator is responsible for setting up, defining, and managing users, assigning user roles and access privileges, establishing predefined VTGs, and setting up policies to automate standard operating procedures for VTG activation and user notification.
– Dispatcher: The dispatcher uses the administration console to set up and activate VTGs to direct and coordinate communications for daily operations and during an event.
– User: Users represent individuals who need to communicate from any endpoint technology, including radios, PCs, IP phones, and public switched telephone network (PSTN) phones. While you are associated with system resources by the dispatcher, you can access the server to set up personal login information, download the IDC application, and specify communications preferences, such as telephone numbers, email addresses, and preferred methods of contact. When necessary, you can be authorized to become a system administrator, operator, or dispatcher.
• Enhanced IPICS API: A web service API is available to integrate IPICS with third party applications, for example Command and Control, Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) applications.
Figure 2. Cisco IPICS Server Administration Console, Showing the Participants and Resources Assigned to a VTG and the Ability to Execute a Notification to VTG Members
• License management: The administrator uses the Web-based interface of the server to manage Cisco IPICS feature licenses and to support upgrades or feature additions. Your organization can install the Cisco IPICS IDC Client, Cisco IPICS Mobile Client and Cisco IPICS Phone Client on all devices, and yet pay only for the maximum number of client applications that it uses at any given time. The Cisco IPICS Server supports new features and modules through software upgrades.
• Centralized administration of Cisco IPICS IDC Clients, Cisco IPICS Mobile Clients, and Cisco IPICS Phone Clients: Administrators can remotely update all users' client software with configuration changes, new information or resources, and modified privileges. Centralized administration avoids the time and expense of dispatching IT personnel to the field to update the software, simplifies version control and distribution, and accelerates service changes.
• Audit trail and log reports: The Cisco IPICS Server provides an audit trail for analysis, critique, and operations management. Detailed activity logging allows administrators to determine which user actions were performed and when they were performed.
• Powerful and easy-to-use Web interface: Authorized personnel can access the Cisco IPICS Server from any location by using a supported browser and a network connection.
• System wide status and serviceability: The administration console includes the serviceability dashboard, which shows Cisco IPICS system and resource information at a glance. To service the system, you can use built-in diagnostic tools, as well as a powerful database archival and retrieval tool for local or offsite recovery. You can manage the server hardware platform with standard network management tools, including the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) with the associated MIB.
• Support for real-world deployments: The Cisco IPICS solution supports satellite networks and other high-latency, low-bandwidth networks, treating them as if they were local resources.
• Secure deployment: Security features of the Cisco IPICS Server application include a hardened Cisco Linux operating system, strong passwords, password expiration, and user account lockout after the maximum number of invalid login attempts. Cisco Security Agent software, installed on the server, detects anomalous application behavior that could indicate a security breach.
• Extensibility: You can extend Cisco IPICS Server functions at any time by adding modular components, including the Cisco IPICS Policy Engine, dial ports, and Cisco IPICS Operational Views. Refer to the Cisco IPICS product data sheets for more information.
• Cisco IPICS Operating System
• Cisco IPICS Server Software with the following components:
– Cisco IPICS Administration Console
– Cisco IPICS IDC
– Cisco IPICS Mobile Client
– Cisco Security Agent
• Number of available Cisco IPICS Operational Views
• Cisco IPICS Policy Engine
• Number of enabled channel and radio ports
• Number of simultaneous-use VTGs
• Number of simultaneous-use dial ports
• Number of simultaneous-use Cisco IPICS IDCs (based on active sessions)
• Number of simultaneous-use Cisco IPICS Mobile Clients (based on active sessions)
• Number of simultaneous-use Cisco IPICS IP Phone Clients (based on active sessions
Table 1. Cisco Ordering Information
Service and Support
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