With more and more devices being deployed on the network, IT professionals can now expect to manage everything from endpoints, collaboration tools and firewalls and now to mass communication systems.
Gone are the days of hard-wired mass communications systems that require infrastructure separate from existing IT infrastructures, and that is bringing even more technology under the watchful eye of IT. However, with IT departments overburdened with supporting hybrid work strategies, cloud migrations and security, making additional technologies easy to manage is now a requirement. That includes campus-wide mass communication systems.
We spoke with Michael Peveler, vice president of sales at AtlasIED, about how mass communication systems are becoming easier for IT professionals to manage.
Why IT now manages mass communication
According to Peveler, IT professionals are now the main point of contact when organizations interface with mass communication providers, and that is largely because mass communication systems are now being deployed on the network, and IT professionals manage that network.
“Coverage is one of the most important concepts of mass communication and it is the only department that has the infrastructure throughout an entire campus, be it corporate, manufacturing, or education that a solution can ride on to provide full coverage,” Peveler says.
Take the K-12 education market, for example. Both on-premises and cloud-based communications solutions are managed through IT infrastructure, and this change is creating a move away from legacy communication models that included a bell, public address system, phones and an auxiliary audio solution for outside or in a gym.
“Today all areas are covered from the same head end, or software solution and are now managed as a single communication platform that goes to IP phones, mobile devices, analog speakers and IP Endpoints located across the campus,” Peveler says.
Easier to manage during a crisis
According to Peveler, this shift away from separate, independent systems on disparate infrastructures is making crisis management much easier for both IT professionals and first responders.
This new model of consolidating mass communication systems into one easy-to-manage solution has come at the urging of safety officials across the country. Now, one system can be used to send a mass communication notification across entire campus and to key personnel regardless of where they are located, via mobile devices.
One user interface for everything from standard campus-wide communications to emergency communications makes it much easier for end users.
With the addition of third-party technologies such as gunshot detection, the system will acknowledge it and trigger a lockdown procedure without the need for human intervention, enabling safety personnel and administrators to do their job and get people to safety quickly. Unfortunately, mass communications systems that require manual processes have led to disaster in the past, Peveler says.
“In a true moment of crisis every second counts and so an automated solution saves lives by giving everyone as much notice as possible,” Peveler says.
Why AtlasIED’s IPX series of IP endpoints stands out
The seamless deployment and management of AtlasIED’s IPX series makes those products the perfect mass communication solutions for IT departments. The network-ready IP endpoints include speakers, displays and IP-to-analog gateways designed to boost your facility’s security and mass communication capabilities without burdening IT with additional infrastructure to manage.
The IPX series comes with devices discovery tools and network management tools that allow for seamless updates and testing to be done on a single unit or an entire network of devices, minimizing the support requirements for IT teams. The endpoints can be easily tied into current AV installations, or it can connect to third-party devices via built-in connections.
“IPX is a high quality, true integration solution that can play a key role in helping to provide a safer environment for employees and students,” Peveler says.
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