Georgia County Government - May/June 2012 - (Page 35)

PreferredPartnerNews How M2M Technology is Poising Local Government for Growth By Mark Sidwell M2M Experiences Rapid Growth Not even wireless industry insiders could have predicted how transformational wireless technology would become in the past 20 years. Today, both consumers and businesses have an insatiable desire for constant communication, information and entertainment. Wireless technology has paved the way for government organizations, businesses and consumers alike to “do more with less,” collapsing processes and increasing productivity. Beyond the five billion devices connected to the Internet today, the potential for greatest growth comes from machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments. ABI Research recently said that cellular machine-to-machine communications rose by more than 26 percent in the last year. New applications continue to drive network upgrades. There’s no question that M2M technology has evolved into an integral component of today’s worldwide wireless landscape and local government organizations should be no exception. The M2M market has massive potential both in terms of size and growth for all involved in the value chain. With the exponential growth of 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) wireless technology, M2M deployments are closer than ever before, helping local governments become more transparent and mitigate public risk. Already local government, including utility companies and law enforcement agencies, are using M2M applications to transmit information and increase communications by eliminating, in some cases, the need for human interaction. Machines can now tell each other when something is amiss, temperatures rise or fall, tank levels are low or an asset has gone “off road.” These wireless networks are used to monitor electricity and water consumption, manage landfills and control assets. Considering government employees in the State of Georgia serve the largest state east of the Mississippi – the reliability and performance of the applications they rely on matter. Budget constraints exacerbated by the recession forced local governments to operate under economic limitations, yet still required execution of performance critical tasks. Now local governments are embracing the implementation of advanced wireless M2M solutions for issues that previously went unresolved. M2M is playing an integral role in local government by addressing current gaps in connectivity. M2M and 4G LTE make a perfect marriage, bringing significant improvements in various local government functions including law enforcement and traffic monitoring. The remote tracking and management of fleet assets through such offerings as GPS and geo-fencing allow government officials’ real- time visibility into the status of fleets. Collecting vehicle metrics including speed, duration of stops, driving patterns and maintenance reports optimize a department’s performance. For example, law enforcement officers can experience substantial, tangible benefits from the implementation of M2M technology. Officers using biometric devices for facial recognition, retinal images, mobile fingerprinting and breathalyzers are able to wirelessly transmit data back to headquarters in real-time. Video services including real-time in-car video transfer, disaster surveillance, high-definition video, incident mapping and first responder tracking allow for quicker response times. Real-time management of infrastructure operations provides dispatch managers with greater visibility and control over fleet and field operations. All of this results in reduced risk, effective cost control, operational excellence and enhanced performance metrics, improved regulatory compliance and higher service levels. When it comes to public safety, the secure and efficient exchange of valuable information is critical. Although the need to communicate to remote infrastructure is not new to the utility industry, energy companies and water agencies are among others who are also discovering additional benefits of M2M technology. Many jurisdictions are operating with aged infrastructure that is overdue for replacements or upgrades, and will ultimately need to employ M2M solutions as necessary system upgrades. While utilities can be cautious, the returns in both cost savings and operational efficiencies are compelling enough for the adoption of this invaluable technology. By eliminating meter readers, billing accuracy and efficiency will be improved. Reduction in operations costs, improved customer service outage isolation and notifications and on-demand disconnect and reconnect are just some of the immediate benefits. For departments that use tablets, especially for those responsible for collecting VERIZON WIRELESS continued on page 36 MAY/JUNE 2012 35

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - May/June 2012

President’s Message
In Memoriam
Director’s Desk
An Inside Look at Criminal Justice Reform
Taylor County: Strongly Rooted in an Agricultural Economy with Expectations for Growth
ACCG Annual Meeting Highlights
How Counties Can Stay on Top with an Uncertainty in Federal Funding
A More Level Playing Field for the 2012 LOST Renegotiations
Counties & the Law: Road Acquisition and Abandonment
Preferred Partner News: Georgia United Credit Union Now Welcomes County Employees
Preferred Partner News: How M2M Technology is Poising Local Government for Growth
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - May/June 2012