Perhaps it seems bold to make predictions after a year like 2020. But Covid-19 and the related lockdowns dramatically accelerated the evolution of remote work, and I don’t see that trend going away any time soon. In light of these developments, I think we can make three predictions about 2021 that directly impact communication workflow for many sectors including commercial industries, utility companies, first responders, and wildland fire teams.
Remote Isn’t Going Away
We all hope the pundits are right that sometime this year we will establish a new normal with reopened offices and the ability to meet in person. However, remote won’t go away when offices reopen. The flexibility of off-site work has streamlined workflow and saved costs while reclaiming commute time and increasing productivity. I believe many companies and utilities will decide it makes sense to continue some form of work from home. This doesn’t mean in-person meetings will be canceled or office space eliminated, but it does mean having reliable remote communication technology will be even more important in 2021.
If Zoom is the communication champion for distance office meetings, radio over IP (RoIP) is the lifeline for teams that use push to talk (PTT) radio devices. Take one of the largest tugboat companies in the US as an example.
Dispatchers–typically located onsite at fleeting areas–needed to work from home. Skymira’s RoIP technology enabled these dispatchers to PTT as usual. Or consider a sheet metal processing company that uses portable radios to communicate between office and production floor. The production equipment couldn’t be moved home, but the office staff could. RoIP enables remote teams to stay connected via PTT.
Flexibility Will Remain Paramount
If anything, 2020 highlighted how rapidly things can change. In a changing world, flexibility is key. The hospitals that set up covid-19 testing sites with very little notice are an incredible example of this flexibility. These sites challenge typical PTT systems since there isn’t time to establish conventional radio networks. Instead, by connecting portable radios to LTE enabled RoIP gateways, they can instantly set up radio communications and continue using PTT for simple, efficient workflow.
Utility companies, too, see how RoIP can improve their operations. One large utility company with 17,000 trucks is working to utilize RoIP so their dispatchers can work from home. The flexibility to use PTT on a national and global scale gives companies a decisive advantage in our changing world.
Satellite RoIP Will Be Key to Growth
During last year’s season, wildland fire operations saw the need for satellite RoIP. Fire crews had to fight one of the worst fire seasons on record while adapting to social distancing restrictions which kept them spread out. Satellite RoIP is ideal for allowing these remote teams to stay coordinated through PTT unhindered by the gaps in traditional radio coverage.
Satellite RoIP is a state-of-the-art PTT technology breakthrough. Satellite RoIP creates a land mobile radio repeater with virtually 100% coverage that is compatible with most brands including Motorola, Bendix King, Kenwood, Tait, and others. Gaps disappear and distances become a non-issue. And, because you have your own network, you stay operational during disasters like hurricanes or the Nashville bombing. In other words, satellite RoIP basically guarantees PTT communications anywhere, anytime. This makes it a powerful force for business continuity and streamlined operations.
Companies that want to stand out in 2021 will need to have secure, flexible communication networks in place. By adding RoIP to your PTT network, you give yourself a bigger toolbox and a flexible advantage that will keep your operation on track regardless of the challenges that lay ahead.