College Planning & Management

JUN 2013

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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get the word out communication with an entire security team, whereas a cell phone will only let someone call one individual at a time. Cell phones also cannot handle the heavy load when people use them during an incident. Many times, cell service is unavailable due to the high volume of people using their phones. That's not the case with twoway radios, which operate on the 800 MHz frequency band." In addition to security, Motorola Solutions' two-way radios have been used in other capacities. Various parties can be kept up-to-date during a Saturday afternoon football game, graduation exercises, or just about any other event that draws thousands of spectators and fans to campus. Communication for crowd control, parking, and vendors is at the touch of a button — by way of the radio. The same goes for a maintenance crew. Individuals can be notifed with seconds — whether high winds have toppled a tree or a boiler has started to leak — so that the situation can be rectifed. Voice Communications Comcast Business offers its Business VoiceEdge hosted PBX solution, which provides classic phone and voice attributes coupled with advanced features like voicemail-to-email integration. Business VoiceEdge, which is cloud-based, contains a dedicated voice and video network included with its service at no additional cost. "This is a great offering for the higher education market, because it unifes calling with dialing throughout each building and the entire campus while offering high-quality voice calling capabilities for professors and security offcers who aren't behind a desk when making their calls," says Caitlin ClarkZigmond, senior director, product management at Comcast Business. Obviously, Business VoiceEdge can be used during an incident to place a call for assistance or to contact authorities by dialing 911. If there is a power outage, broadband outage, or a natural disaster, incoming phone calls can be routed to a pre-determined location. That means that even if the power goes out, calls will not be lost, and instead the Call Forwarding Not Reachable feature is utilized. For Unifed Communications customers, two benefts to Business VoiceEdge are the use of the Comcast Softphone, which is a desktop application that enables a user's computer or laptop to behave much as a standard telephone would. In addition, Business VoiceEdge offers mobility and allows users to access their desk phone from their mobile. These features are benefcial for people on the go and not just for someone who is moving around campus. The Comcast Softphone and Be Anywhere feature ensures that a phone is never far away. pliant. CAP ensures that a warning message is displayed on various alert systems simultaneously during an incident. Aside from security purposes, digital signage serves higher education in other ways. Visit any college campus and you'll see many students and faculty members wearing jackets, t-shirts, and other clothing splashed with the collegiate name — and not just during a key sports season. That school spirit can carry over to every major spot on campus with digital signage. Students and faculty members can stay informed about the latest school and local news with updated messages on these signs. Sports scores, campus activities, ftness class schedules and sports practices, cafeteria menus, and weather conditions are just a few of the messages that digital signage can provide. The information is constantly changing and dynamic as to the needs of the school itself. Digital Signage Considerations for Campuses The use of digital signs during a safety incident or for disaster preparedness plans is ideal for various market sectors, but especially for higher education, due to the extended reach to large numbers of people across multiple buildings and locations. Digital signage consists of screens placed throughout a campus that instantly update with important information. These signs can be located both inside and outside of buildings to ensure that as many people as possible see the messages. There are several notable features attributed to digital signage. First, these signs alert those individuals who are hearing-impaired. Secondly, messages can be in bold colors and fashing lights to attract attention. Scala is just one of the vendors offering digital signage offerings to the higher education market, and a key beneft to using its software is its ability to be CAP (Common Alerting Protocol) com- In emergencies, everyone hopes for the best, but the best can only occur with thorough plans in place and streamlined ahead of time to ensure the most positive of outcomes. Technology helps with that fnal outcome through various features and capabilities, making it possible to notify large masses of people quickly. Effcient methods of notifcation have resulted in many lives being saved during critical incidents. It's no longer a knock on a door to warn of danger. Since colleges and universities don't always have a lot of money at their disposal, it helps to know that the technologies that are aiding in security tasks can also be used for a variety of other purposes. CPM Karen Spring has been a technical writer for more than 10 years. She contributes to a weekly newsletter that highlights network and Internet security topics. JUNE 2013 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 49

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