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News

Improved control room workflow at key US installations

Barco : 24 June, 2009  (Application Story)
CMS software from Barco is providing two key facilities in the USA with real time monitoring awareness
Visualization pioneer Barco has announced that two key US facilities, a government agency in Georgia and an electric and gas company based in the southeast have installed the Barco CMS suite in unique implementations that provide each customer with collaborative, real-time working environments. Installation and integration for both facilities was performed by Norcross, Georgia-based CriticalSpace Solutions, a company specializing in command and control installations.

Hans Dekeyser, VP of Sales for Barco's Security and Monitoring Division, commented on the CMS suite's success for these clients, "CMS is the perfect integrator-friendly software tool that allows users to manage and distribute audio, video and data over IP, and collaborate in a way that truly enhances productivity. As exemplified at these two key facilities, the market reaction to this unique product has been overwhelming and highly positive."

The government agency's call and dispatch centre had a pressing need to provide users with a common view of information, and the ability to collaborate across different functional workgroups. However, the facility's physical structure prevented the installation of a large screen display, therefore any potential solution was constrained to a desktop implementation. With the installation of Barco's CMS suite and its impartiality with regards to displays and data, the agency's forty operator staff now share common perspectives that include statistics, data and custom applications to manage their workflow. "The CMS solution was a remedy to a workflow problem, and their need to share information from one operator to the next," said Tyler Bonner, Director of CriticalSpace Solutions. "From an architectural standpoint, they didn't have the real estate to accommodate a large screen display, so the ability to share common operating pictures had to be provided locally, at each desktop. In essence, the CMS suite enabled that capability."

The electric and gas company had an ongoing search targeted at solving display issues with their outage management system. Specifically, the problem revolved around the challenges of scaling RGB video across large monitor walls. When Critical Space Solutions introduced the CMS suite and its method of encoding analogue computer video to IP, their RGB scaling issues were resolved. More important, the CMS suite opened up new paths for visual collaboration, providing the customer with a system that far exceeded the capabilities of their previous analogue routing scheme. Looking forward to the additional centres that the utility company will bring online, CMS will provide the backbone for collaborative situational awareness, and enable each site to share information in real time. "The client was originally looking for a fix to their RGB scaling issue, but as the project evolved, CMS opened up a path for sharing information back and forth between facilities," explained Bonner. "Effectively, CMS has provided a foundational network that allows them to scale, to share information, and to create new business rules for building efficiencies."

Bonner concluded by succinctly summarizing the system's advantages. "The days of sharing within a single environment have passed us by," said Bonner, "and now, the ability to share visual information across an enterprise is upon us, and that's what the CMS toolset enables people to do."

Built on the foundation of a robust, centralized, high-speed content server, Barco's CMS suite enables users to create "perspectives" comprised of desktop or enterprise applications, video, data, web feeds and streaming media, and to share those perspectives among any workstation or display on the facility's network. Target displays can be as small as a desktop monitor, or as large as a seamless video wall spanning an entire control room. The system's speed is maximized by its ability to convert all inputs to IP (Internet Protocol), eliminating the need for expensive analogue routers, and thus providing a common data format that's easy to share and distribute.

The highly cost-effective CMS environment enables users, both local and remote, to visualize data simultaneously, monitor and interact with that data, and make informed decisions as a result. The system is purpose built for environments such as traffic operations centres, network operations centres, corporate security centres and military and government facilities — any location in which multiple users could benefit from the real-time management and visualization of multiple computer, video and data sources.
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