First of all IPICS can be used as an IP dispatch console providing unified command and controlIPICS uses standard networking equipment to converge disparate systems onto the IP network. This reduces costs, increases reliability, and allows for better management of the communications system.Beyond the traditional push to talk voice applications, IPICS provides mobility and secure rich media sharing using common iPhones or Android based devices. Using the IPICS incident framework and policy engine the right resources can automatically be notified when a situation aries.A picture says a 1000 words. IPICS truly enables any device, any network, and any organization and any media to collaborate together.
Today, operations center collecting a lot of rich media from video surveillance, access control alarms, emergency calls, and intrusion sensors to help identify an incident requiring response. However, once a threat incident is identified, the only tool they have to communicate with the field is a dispatch console – which is audio only, primarily to UHF/VHF radios. A lot of information is lost from a video of a suspect to a description of the suspect over a radio.That is why Cisco has put a target on the dispatch console. IPICS already extends radio channels to IP-Phones, cell-phones and PCs (all devices capable of richer media). By introducing a Cisco IPICS Dispatch Console, we break the wall between monitoring and dispatch empowering the dispatcher to send rich media such as live/stored videos, pictures and text to the field in addition to building audio talkgroups.In addition, we build a collaborative session between dispatcher and field responders allowing anyone to add their own status or media to a talkgroup.
It starts with audio-only; IPICS allows you to integrate PCs, IP-Phones and cellphones into a radio channel.But video from surveillance, users in the field and tihngs like YouTube are important and captureChild abductionAccident detailsFireCisco Unified Dispatch enable the dispatcher to link important video to a talkgroup, distributing video to rich media devices – radios continue to participate in audio PTT channel only.Additional capabilities:Users can update incident status at any time – status will be distributedUsers can add video/pictures to an incident at any time – it will be distributed to all incident participantsUsers can talk on PTT with integrated audio channel interoperability
This release broadens the radio interoperability capabilities by allowing communications across the P25 protocol. This is done through the introduction of a ISSI gateway and new end-to-end native P25 communication capabilities from the IPICS Dispatch Console.This release allows features such as TalkerID and radio control over remote connections. This allows the Dispatch Console to play a more powerful radio dispatch role. This is done through the introduction of the Unified Media Services (UMS) platform for IPICSThe SIP-HA feature allows minimization of single-point-of-failure in IPICS deployments by allowing IPICS Dial-in and Dial-out functionality in IPPE to work with multiple SIP providers.UMS High Availability allows redundancy and failover of UMS, thereby minimizing media downtime for VTGs and remote connections, in case there is a failure of a critical media service.The LDAP Authentication feature allows IPICS users to be authenticated against a common Active Directory repositoryThis release supports internationalization of the IPICS Dispatch Console, the Dial Engine prompts and the IP-Phone services. This will include left-to-right support for Arabic and Japanese double-byte character support. We increased the 2 line dialer to 10-line Dialer and includeRedial-support in the IDC. This allows up to 10 active phone patches to be established in the IDC.There are specific DoD-specific features built for specific customers, such as: STIG security certifications, CAC-card support and specific Radio support. These features are customer-specific and supported only by dedicated partners.There is a USB-based disk-recovery option in the IPICS-OS in this release. We are removing support for MCS platforms. But MSP platform support is continued. For loading a large number of users or channels, rather than manually inserting them through the Admin Console, there is an option now to do script-based bulk uploads.There are other minor features, such as a custom splash screen on IDC and Admin Console, Joystick support for IDC input,, enhanced logging support in the IDC, lazy loading of SIP-resources on IDC clients, etc.
Building upon the IPICS rich media incident management framework, which integrates with a wide range of systems to enable a complete interoperability and collaboration system with an enhanced industry leading IP dispatch console, and mobile client applications. We now have a direct IP connection to radio systems.Cisco’s IPICS consists of software and hardware components that make up the entire solution.The Hardware consists of a Land Mobile Router Cisco’s 2911 router with various interface cards T1/E1/E&M that converts analog audio to packet based audio. These LMR gateways can be put at the mountain top sites or centralized in a communications center.The new IP interface includes a new P25ISSI gateway and a Universal Media Server. The ISSI gateway decodes and decrypts the proxied talk groups on a P25trunking system. It also will encrypt and encode dispatcher or IP phone traffic being sent to the P25 radio network. The Unified Media Servier does the audio mixing combing unicast SIP streams with multicast streams efficiently using the IP network to send and receive audio packets.The IPICS server is the hub of the communications system. It manages all the talk groups, virtual talk groups, incidents, policies, and it securely authenticates each endpoint to the predefined communication resources.IPICS has many software elements. First we have a IPICS Dispatch ConsoleCisco Interoperability and Collaboration System is an incident response application that orchestrates resources, media, and informationEffectively manage communications across distributed radio systems, locations, and networksIPICS software consists ofIPICS Server Software on Multiservices PlatformIPICS Dispatch ConsoleIPICS Mobile ClientLand Mobile Radio GatewaysIP Phone PTT clientsPolicy Engine
There is a new standard interface for IP interface to radio systems.The current way to interface to radio networks is using donor radios. This interface has limitations such as:Inefficient use of communication channels (more costly)No end to end encryptionNo dispatcher priorityWith the IPICS 4.5 release we have a direct IP connection to P25 radio systems. This has the following benefits:Direction interoperability without the use of donor radiosEfficient channel resource utilization End to end EncryptionDispatcher priorityNote: This is for P25 trunked systems only. We can also mix and match the RMS with the UMS but there are limitations.
The P25ISSI gateway allows multiple agencies to connect to a shared P25 network. Each agency can roam onto another agencies network. The diagram on the right shows this connectivity and capability.
IPICS integrates to radio systems in one of two manners. Using a donor radio or using a gateway. The diagram above shows IPICS components, Cisco routing components, Gateways, and donor radios.The IPICS server controls the resources in the system. The IPICS server has a special software module called the Radio Control Resource. The RCS has a protocol that communications with the LMR gateway or the third party gateways. When connecting to donor radios IPICS uses E&M ports from the Cisco LMR Gateway (special card that goes into a Cisco 2811 or 2911 router) directly connecting to a ASYNC port (RS232 port) on a donor radio (control) and to the audio connection (E&M). Once the analog audio is received in the router it is converter to G711/G729RTP media. These packets are sent through a multicast capable communications device.When providing interoperability through the gateway, there is no LMR Gateway involved. The gateway provides the G.711/G.729 conversion using multicast. This gateway has a direct network connection to the radio system.
The UMS has various functions in the IPICS system.The UMS directly connects local dispatchers into communications using a multicast media stream.The UMS connects remote dispatchers into communications via SIP audio streams and a unicast media streamSmartphone users are authenicated to the IPICS server then connect to the UMS using UnicastIP phone users are connected to the UMS via multicast streamsThe UMS distributes the call load based on a round robin approach. When calls are initiated the IPICS system will share the load between many UMS’s on the system. The UMS also supports High Availability through primary and standby pairs. If the primary server goes down the secondary server automatically takes over.
Cisco’s ISSI Gateway comprises of two functional parts. The first part operates is the radio controller which manages P25 subscribers allowing for the administration of user and group ID’s for the home and affiliated radio system. This ensures talk group communications while radio users roam away from their home P25 network onto an affiliated P25 network without a console patch. The second functional part is called the Intra Sub System Interface (ISSI). The ISSI allows the IPICS dispatch console, Cisco IP phones, and Cisco’s mobile clients on Apple iPhone or Google Android phones to communicate with multiple P25 systems. Customers are no longer enslaved to a radio manufacturer’s proprietary dispatch solution or proprietary mobile/portable radio’s.Cisco’s P25 solution allows for two modes of communications. The first mode called a proxy mode which encodes/encrypts and decodes/decrypts P25 audio (IMBE) on the gateway. In the proxy mode the ISSI gateway transcodes multicast RTP streams into SIP sending the streams throughout the IP network. The proxy mode allows IP phones, mobile clients and other SIP endpoints to talk with P25 radios. The second mode is called native which allows for end to end encryption of audio. In the native end to end mode the ISSI gateway will route the audio directly to the IPICS dispatch console (IDC) where it encodes/encrypts and decodes/decrypts the P25 audio.TheISSI gateway also works with the P25 signaling through supplemental services. This allows for the following function between the dispatchers and the P25 subscribers:Group CallsIndividual CallEmergency CallsCall Alert Radio CheckRadio DetachRadio Inhibit/Uninhibit, Radio Unit MonitorShort MessageStatus Query
Overview of our new IPICS dispatch console GUIRadio Interoperability – core IPICS capability. Supports summary area (left column) and details area (middle)Simple patch capabilities – select 2 or more channels and simply hit patchWe have upgraded our telephony client from 2 to 10 lines which integrates with the CUCM supporting incoming/outgoing callsAlso ability to patch active calls into channelIntegrated VTG management and Policy execution. These were things that used to require the admin console. Now they are available from a single screen.Incident and video capabilitiesIncident is a new type of resource allowing dispatcher to create incident, add channels, talkgroups and users into a single incident talkgroup. Then they can add live/stored video, pictures and text to incident making it available to participants with devices capable of handling the richer media. Users with radios will receive audio while people with IPICS Mobile Client will receive audio but also video, pictures and text.P25 Supplemental Radio ServicesThis new feature allows the dispatchers to integrate with supplemental radio services. These services include private calls, group calls, emergency alarms, status messages, radio check, and radio inhibit commands.
IPICS supports two versions of the IPICS Dispatch Console – Silver and Platinum. The IDC Silver is comparable to the original Push-to-Talk Management Console (PMC) – same price with some added features. The IDC Platinum is the high end product with integrated telephony client, rich media incident management and VTG management capabilities.
Sequence of screens starting from left hand side and moving to right.First see assigned incidentsSelect Fire Incident and see media choicesSelect live video and see all live video options that are part of fire incident
Sequence of screen sequence starting from left to rightSelect video and see live video on Mobile ClientAt any time they can touch PTT button which pulls up radio interface providing channel monitoring as well as PTT capabilities.Finally, user may add media – whether text, video or picture. Note, picture and video has option of saved media or link directly to camera and take lhoto or video.When media is added, IPICS Server pulls media into secure web server and distributes secure link to all incident participants with a device capable of viewing the media.
Cisco IPICS has also been effectively installed in the Cisco NERV truck – providing the communications hub during a major incident such as fire or flood.
These are benefits list that we have build with customers.Many already sending video via Email and XMPP, performing Text IM, performing radio dispatch and talking on a phone. Cisco delivers an integrated solution – using the talkgroup user groups to send information.