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Cisco delivers new multivendor, interoperable communications solutions for government and enterprise industries

July 9, 2013 - 1 Comment

At Cisco we often talk about mobile workers and mean the types of employees who travel to other cities, states, and countries, or (even) work from home. However, there is another type of mobile worker we’re helping.  Someone I’ll call the “on-premise mobile worker”.  While this person may have a desk, they also have to travel around a small geography while keeping in touch with others on the job.  Think of police traveling within their city, local transportation employees surveying roadways and tunnels, or school resources officers on a school campus.  For many years these on-premise mobile workers kept in touch with radio. Eventually, some moved to mobile phones or tablets.  However, organizations with these types of workers often use more than one type of device and need a blended solution. A way to use both radio and IP together.

With this in mind, Cisco has introduced the Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration system solution. While the name is a mouthful – even the acronym IPICS is long – what this solution offers is quite simple. . Cisco IPICS helps organizations create a unified, integrated radio and IP communications system.  With this unified approach they’re able to manage distributed teams of people and mission critical communications over multiple radio networks and systems. This, in turn, helps improve incident response and decision making.

Cisco IPCS Solution Overview

Cisco IPICS Solution Overview

At Denton Independent School District in Texas, school resource officers have central command centers and rely on desktops with multiple large monitors.  However, they also have a field of school safety officers who are usually mobile as they traverse hallways and classrooms. With Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration Systems (IPICS), they can still perform their security duties while mobile, and monitor events  continuously as they are moving to the scene. Principals use IPICS on their iPads and iPhones to allow them to access any camera in the district from classrooms, hallways, cafeterias. With remote access capability they have increased situational awareness, and improved decision making with the ability to track the movement of individuals by switching camera views, which allows them to go straight to where they are needed, and resolve the situation much faster.

Cisco is now shipping its new IP interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS) solution version 4.6, providing a new set of multivendor, interoperable communications capabilities for operations and dispatch centers across government and enterprise industries.

Cisco IPICS IP Dispatch Console

Cisco IPICS IP Dispatch Console

This new release of IPICS expands virtualization to the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)E-Series, expands the Cisco open IP standards called Digital Fixed Station Interaface (DFSI) and offers customers a new SolutionPlus touch screen interface from IP Trade.

The IPICS Dispatch console has a new feature called “tear away items” allowing dispatchers to customize their screen real estate and includes new telephony features such as global phone book providing instant telephony communications with critical personnel.

Cisco’s IPICS 4.6 represents the next generation in open multivendor platforms. New features and functions in this release include the following:

  • Direct radio network interoperability—This release supports Inter RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI), Console Sub-System Interface (CSSI), and TIA P25 Digital Fixed Station Interface (DFSI) standards.
  • DFSI Gateway—This release includes a new P25 Conventional Gateway called DFSI gateway.
  • IP Command Touch Screen Dispatch Console—This new touch-screen dispatch capability is available through IP Trade, a Cisco SolutionsPlus partner.

    IP Trade Touchscreen Console

    IP Trade Touchscreen Console

  • Cisco Video Surveillance (VSM) Manager 7 support—Allows the integration of VSM videos with incidents.
  • Key management—This release provides features to manage the storage and distribution of keys for IDC users in “End to End” ISSIG mode, ISSI gateways, and DFSI gateways. These keys are used to encrypt and decrypt voice traffic on P25 TalkGroups and P25 Fixed Stations
  • TETRA radios—This release supports the configuration and use of TETRA radios.
  • SNMP configuration of SNMP V2 options for Cisco IPICS.
  • Language support to include French (Canadian), Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
  • Cisco IP Phone high availability—The IPICS IP Phone client now supports high availability.
  • Updated Cisco UCS support—This release is extended as a virtualized application on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) E-Series.
  • Enhanced IP Dispatch Console features such as “Tear away items”—You can customize the appearance of the IDC by moving various items from the IDC Main window to any location on your computer screen and enhanced call transfer features allow consultative and blind call transfers,  and  an address book that lets you access and manage multiple contact lists and quickly call or send email to a contact

As Public Safety LTE standards evolve, users with dual mode phones will be able to roam between carrier based LTE networks and D-Block public safety LTE networks.


Additional Resources:
External Press Release

IPICS 4.6 data sheet

Universal Media Services data sheet

P25 Gateway data sheet


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  1. Release 4.6 sound like it has a few enhancements. Can you confirm the following for me:
    – When is the anticipated release date? and if a customer purchases an IPICS license tomorrow will they be able to upgrade at no extra cost with a Smartnet purchase.
    – VSM integration, Will that require the purchase of a VSM license and/or PSOM application.
    – Will the IP Trade IDC be provided with an additional cost (Is it a HW and SW feature or just a SW license loaded on existing PC).

    I am an IPICS reseller and need to clarify these points.