There was a day when people could go out, do their jobs, and that was that, but that’s all changed. Technology has given us the power to see in real-time exactly how jobs are being performed. That information can lead to more efficient ways to get work done. For the public sector, that can result in better services to taxpayers and more money saved over all.
For example, Cradlepoint solutions have recently been placed inside snow removal equipment in the Midwest. Now that these vehicles are connected to a network, transportation departments can watch in real-time as drivers plow snow and lay down sand and salt. They can see if these materials are being dispersed correctly and if snow is being moved to the right places. For private contracts managed by the city or county, network connectivity enables everything from GPS tracking, to video streaming of how the snow is removed, and in-vehicle WiFi to communicate next job assignments to drivers. It may seem a small thing, but county or state highway departments can now get more performance out of their drivers and stretch their resources further – resulting in a big win for government budget planners.
As the Manager for Cradlepoint’s public sector team, I’m very excited about all the opportunities we see to provide federal, state, local, and educational entities with right-sized network connectivity solutions. As with the case of the snowplows, we think so many opportunities exist because our solutions enable the public sector address some key concerns:
Mobility: from those in-vehicle applications, to business continuity/failover, pop-up networks, security surveillance, military applications, and Fish & Game field researchers, Cradlepoint solves the issues of connecting people who are constantly on the move—often in remote places.
Ruggedness: Many of these same vehicles get into very rough terrain and extreme conditions. Our hardware is built tough and rugged, designed for mission-critical connectivity in the most challenging environments. With an extensive list of safety and hardening certifications to protect against extreme temperatures, humidity, shocks, vibrations, dust, water splash, reverse polarity, and transient voltage.
Flexibility: The U.S. Army, for example, uses Cradlepoint to connect its pop-up recruiting offices. These offices are constantly on the move. As they move, Cradlepoint enables them the flexibility to connect to whatever cellular provider provides the best signal and be up and running in minutes, not weeks or months.
Price Consciousness: Public sector organizations must be very responsible about how they spend taxpayers’ money. By replacing satellite, radio, and cable, Cradlepoint lowers the cost of connectivity. By making equipment easy to install and to manage, we lower IT costs and by enabling IT departments to manage hundreds or thousands of devices from a central location, we enable the public sector work more efficiently.
Security Data breaches are becoming a daily occurrence in the private sector. Cradlepoint security solutions come in many layers: Our Parallel Networking solutions, partnerships with top-tier security providers, and intelligent routing of traffic (a combination of proxies and DNS, with 100K Security Updates/Day, IPS protects both WAN and LAN/WLAN from intrusions) gives the public sector confidence that their data will remain safe and secure.
Responsiveness: One of our key advantages is our agility—our ability to take customer feedback and use that to improve our products. Our competitors can do this, but it can take months or even years for those improvements to hit the market. Our fast “time-to-market” for improvements can be a real boon to cash-strapped agencies looking to improve efficiency.
Overall, we see more and more functionality is being pushed out to the ‘Network’s Edge.’ Post offices and Veterans Affairs hospitals need to serve customers by providing guest WiFi. Troops need to share information in the field. Scientists need to collect real-time data for research. City and educational buses need to travelers to the Internet with web filtering control while ensuring safe travel through the use of security cameras. City and state bus applications include digital signage, content filtering, and secure Point-of-Sale transactions.
We think we can provide the public sector with solutions that are smart, easy-to-use and that, at the end of the day, save organizations precious taxpayer dollars. We’ve been keeping an eye on new information related demands coming to the public sector. We’ve seen some great success in meeting these needs, and are ready for more!