The outlook for NG9-1-1: politics aside

Posted on: August 15, 2018 by Robert Clark

Over the past 5 years, the public safety industry has been in a state of flux, transitioning to a new era where, as my good friend TJ Kennedy has said many a time, we have seen “the art of the possible.”

We have seen visionaries (individuals and companies) emerge, challenging the status quo and answering the call to action to make NG911 NOW a reality, not a tagline. Leaders who not only believe in the mission for public safety, but who have the wherewithal and expertise, continue to not only lead from the front and exhibit how “the art of the possible” works. Actions not words, solutions not excuses, answers versus roadblocks. These leaders are changing the way Public Safety works. And, it’s time for us to all get on board or get out of the way.

However, what we have also learned over the past 5 years is that while change is possible, bureaucracy and politics still hamper this industry. Agendas have continued to be pressed in a last-ditch attempt to either sway a vote, maintain relevance, gain financial favor or simply focus on profit versus progress, placing lives at stake in the process. Playing politics is a dangerous game, one which has hampered our nation’s progress in many areas, a trend that simply has no place in today’s day and age. This country was founded by agents of change, visionaries, leaders who were bound and determined to change the status quo. Politics was the forum to foster progress, not line pocket books. This nation of ours, the one which provides opportunity for all, has a sense of duty to protect all citizens, an inherent part of our civil liberties. Why then do we allow politics to get in the way of progress today, when lives are at stake and our children’s futures depend on our industry’s collective success? Speaking on behalf of one firm that is committed to playing its part in the mission’s success: we have moved the politics aside and are plowing forward with those who are ready to join us.

NG9-1-1 is here, the old way of doing things is out the door, legacy providers have joined the revolution, and there is no reason any of us should accept mediocrity. Be vocal, be visible, be loud and be proud for this industry needs voices and faces to put to the masses, agents of change who are not afraid to stand in front of a camera and tell the truth.

We can all, as transformational leaders for NG9-1-1, not only make NG911 NOW a reality, but do so with one intent and end objective: progress. We found ourselves behind the curve largely because of attempts to preserve relevance or protect legacy delivery approaches. NG9-1-1 is not about more of the same, it is a changing of the guard. It’s a paradigm shift for new expertise and core competencies to emerge. It’s about leading with the visionaries and trail-blazers known for bringing “the art of the possible” to fruition.

We are all in this together, and if we allow politics to get in the way of progress, we will fail. The frequency of 9-1-1 outages will continue to rise, lives will be lost, and our children and their children will suffer the consequences. Do we choose to fail our children, our forefathers, our nation’s citizens and ourselves in lieu of personal agendas? On behalf of this team, we answer with a firm “NO,” and we will continue to drive forward with others who are ready to break down the barriers and achieve NG911 NOW.

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About Robert Clark
Vice President, NEXTGEN Solutions, Atos Public Safety
Rob Clark is a Global Public Safety and Security Migration Subject Matter Expert (SME) specializing in NG911/112 PSAP and ESInet solutions, incorporating Smart City ecosystem needs to provide a single “NGSmart” blueprint for infrastructure modernization strategies. As the Head of the NG9-1-1 GTM for North America, Rob leads the Atos Public Safety team and organizational pillars via strategic direction, solution alignment, partnerships, delivery models and total lifecycle sustainability models for Public Safety clients. Serving as the lead subject matter expert for all Atos Public Safety offerings, Rob represents the organization in North America and abroad to align core competencies with market demands, customer requirements and forward-focused innovation.

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