August 3, 2021 by Maddy Roe

4 Questions to Consider When Evaluating CAD (Computer-Aided Dispatch) Software 

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Industries: 9-1-1 & Law Enforcement

Topics: Command Center Software CAD PSAPs SaaS

Public Safety Telecommunicators ‒ call takers, dispatchers, and those in a hybrid role ‒ have a tremendously hard job. That is why it is more critical than ever for the software and communications systems they use to make their workflows easier, not more complicated. If you or your agency are considering purchasing a new CAD or public safety software in the future, there are a few questions to keep in mind. 

Question 1: Is customization the only way to maintain current workflows? 

Your agency may be used to meeting specific requirements and wish to preserve your workflows. It is also a good idea to preserve good team dynamics by not making drastic changes when looking at new software and how it may impact your telecommunicators. So as you evaluate software options, you may be told to build in customizations to keep your current workflow ‒ often a costly and time-intensive request. But is this really the case? Or can you accomplish the same workflows through configurations and module setups? 

Question 2: Are your current agency workflows the only way to meet agency goals and community needs?

We agree there is a lot to be said for maintaining current telecommunicator workflows: easing the transition between software for both telecommunicators and responders, as well as making sure you are still meeting your current reporting requirements. But new systems mean the chance to consider new ways of incorporating call handling, integrated call control, mapping, dispatch, records and communications. Could your agency benefit from newer technologies that appeal to the “digital native,” visual dispatchers, or younger generation? Or does your agency require a more robust system that incorporates more automation and alerts? You may also find that streamlining your processes can shave hours or days off of unnecessary work of what you are doing currently, and eliminate unnecessary stress during critical moments.

Question 3: How much are you listening to end users’ feedback when reviewing software systems?

Agencies that incorporate feedback from end users ‒ in this case, call takers and dispatchers ‒ have a much more successful project than when decisions are made entirely by leadership. How are you including input from your call takers and dispatchers in the process? What are you sharing about the different available products and services that you are considering? It is as worth investing the time listening to the needs and experiences of your team as you move through this process. 

Question 4: How is your agency preparing to meet the needs of the future with the CAD software you are evaluating?

Agencies are deluged with an inordinate amount of information as they begin to evaluate vendors and systems for their PSAPs. But one question they can’t neglect is how one vendor is prepared to meet the future needs of the agency as it changes and evolves or tackles the unthinkable today. Do they have the vision, support, and design? What about your agency ‒ would you be prepared to take on another 2020 with remote work demands ‒ are you building your systems with the security, flexibility, and scalability of the unexpected? 

Motorola Solutions has a portfolio of CAD solutions to meet your agency needs, from on-premises to the cloud and more. Visit our interactive CAD evaluation tool to find the right solution. 

Join Motorola Solutions at APCO at booth #901 to learn more about selecting the best CAD for your agency. We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

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