September 2, 2008

NICE-Vision VP Marketing Nir Hayzler: “We enable the team to create an accurate picture and rapidly send it to all involved in the rescue process”.Catching criminals, saving injured people and dealing with many other emergency incidents can be faster and more efficient then ever before, thanks to the revolution in the communication technology and devices. The trick, however, is how to help the helpers, and enable emergency forces to best harness these developments and extract their benefits.

While in the past, 9-1-1 centers received all the information about emergency situations via telephone, today, as a result of the communications revolution, they receive a huge volume of information from an abundance of sources and in various forms of media.

This flood of data arrives simultaneously from many different multimedia sources such as telephone, VoIP, text messages (SMSs), email, mobile phone cameras and other digital still and video cameras, closed-circuit television (CCTV) video recordings, location information from GPS devices, police documents such as mug shots, affidavits, incident reports, driver information such as license, car registration, and more. In addition, there is a vast store of information coming from the two-way-radio-communications systems used by emergency forces.

In essence, to investigate properly, agencies and command-and-control centers must move beyond simply capturing voice communications, to centrally capturing and managing many different types of multimedia information.

The main problem is that, all these inputs arrive through disparate systems that aren’t connected to one another, and don’t communicate with each other.

The control center team who oversee the event must sort through these pieces of information, figure out the time-line in which they occurred (and when the information arrived), and draw correct conclusions – all under an intense time pressure. Given the high volume of information, the large number of systems, and the fact that these systems are not connected to one another, speedy decision making is a problematic task.

This is where Israeli based company Nice Systems, a provider of advanced solutions that enable organizations to extract insight from interactions, comes into the picture.
Nice has developed the NICE-Inform platform, a full-spectrum multimedia incident information management solution, designated for the security market.

NICE-Inform enables the 9-1-1 centers to compile, assemble and integrate all these various forms of multimedia incident information on a unified system, and synchronize them over a single time line – in one place – for valuable insight, as well as for improved collaboration and efficiency among all the emergency forces involved in the process.

This centralized repository, management and analysis solution enables them to effectively manage incidents information from various sources, including audio, video and text, streamlining information-sharing, investigations and evidence delivery.

“The command-and-control team have many different icons on their computer screen, each represents a specific source of information,” explains Nir Hayzler, VP Marketing of NICE-Vision at Nice. “By integrating all the different pieces of information, presenting them on a consolidate platform, and synchronizing them over a time-line, the NICE-Inform enables the team to create a complete and accurate picture of the chain of events, and rapidly send it to all the people involved in the process”.

In addition, the system facilitates rapid and complete reconstruction of incidents and sharing of critical incident data between all the people taking part in the process of collecting evidence and testimonies. This feature enables the agencies and the command-and-control centers to investigate the process after its conclusion, deduce its weak points, and consider improvements, and build a case for the prosecution.

“The incidents scenario reconstruction feature”, says Hayzler, “enables the team to investigate the course of events and to improve and speed up the procedure of bringing the criminal to trial”.

Plus, the system’s centralized management information enables the 9-1-1 centers to use this information in the future, share information among police, emergency medical services and the fire department.

“The testimonies and evidences are saved in a virtual sealed file to prevent tampering”, adds Hayzler. “This sealed file can be sent to all the people involved in the prosecution procedure”.

Another feature of the NICE-Inform is ‘screen capture’. The system documents all the activity in the control room during the event. This documentation indicates the efficiency with which the event was managed and what lessons can be learned.

The city of Houston, Texas recently added NICE-Inform to its Emergency Center, due to its ability to capture and manage high volumes of critical emergency communications and other vital multimedia incident information.

With NICE-Inform, the three departments: police, fire, and emergency medical services in Houston, will be able to share a single solution for recording and reviewing emergency communications, which will not only enhance reliability, but reduce the department’s overhead and technical support requirements.

Although the Nice-Inform is designated for 9-1-1 centers, Hayzler says that it can be used by any entity who needs to use high volumes of information, incoming from disparate multimedia sources, such as mass-transit (trains, airports etc.).

For example, the system has been installed by a European train operator who wants to manage and investigate the information that arrives from CCTV, from routing facilities, and communications between the control and the drivers.

In May, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) awarded Nice with a seven-year contract. The FAA acquired the NICE-Inform to meet future air traffic safety, capacity and efficiency needs for more than a billion passengers by 2015.

Nice employs over 2,300 people. In addition to its Israeli headquarters in Raanana, it has headquarters in the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Japan.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director