Enterprise Radio Management

Spacing Dash

Managing the operations of New Zealand’s largest airport is no mean feat. With a huge number of staff situated across various stations and regularly on the move, communication is key. Radio communication is widely used across the business and helps staff to connect freely. With many radios becoming lost or unaccounted for, a new system was desperately needed in order to streamline stocktake. Philo was asked to step in and help.

Date:

December 2019

Technologies Utilised

Challenge

For this project, Philo was enlisted to assist in the build of three components:

  1. Building the admin portal; a place where radios could be monitored at all times.
  2. Building the terminal where radios could be physically checked in and out.
  3. Building a custom API to allow terminals to pass commands to TRBONet which controls Motorola radios remotely.

Terminals are located throughout the airport which are used to feed information into one system. For this network to work, Philo needed to ensure the various components would not only feed into the system but also sync together.

Philo’s solutions

Admin Portal

  • The portal was built using a .Net Core API which uses Entity Framework to query a SQL Server database with the TRBONet Database. Nuxt.JS Universal (Vue.JS) was used for the frontend for administrators.
  • Philo queried the TRBONet database directly, allowing management to view important information such as which staff member had checked out a radio and how long it had been in use for.
  • The admin portal was designed as a user-friendly stocktake system. Other helpful uses included seeing exactly how many radios were available, which ones were getting the most use, and which ones were getting little or no use.
  • Radio use could be grouped by individuals and departments.

Terminal

  • Custom-designed software using Electron (running vue.js) was developed which enabled radios to be logged at the start and end of every shift.
  • A unique, easy-to-use interface was designed so staff members could swipe their access card along with a radio at the start of their shift. To log out, the same process would be repeated. Fast, easy, and efficient.

Third-Party API

  • The terminals were using a 3rd party API which stopped working when TRBONet was updated. Philo replace this 3rd party API with a custom solution, meaning the 3rd party API could be eliminated and terminals could integrate seamlessly with TRBONet.

Outcome

Philo built new technology which integrated seamlessly with existing systems to enable a simplified, user-friendly process.

The admin portal provides a real-time overview of radio activity including user behaviour, overdue alerts, inactivity alerts, available units, and how many units are being used and by who. With a larger emphasis on tracking and monitoring being implemented, radio users have had more responsibility attributed to them, particularly if a unit has been lost.

The terminal allows staff to easily log their radio in and out at the start and beginning of each shift. Because they are completing this task themselves, it has reiterated the fact that the responsibility lies with them to return it. Management are very grateful for this new process as it has removed a lot of unnecessary admin while making radio users more accountable for their actions.

Terminal API (TRBONet integration) provides the mechanism for terminals to communicate with TRBONet and control radios. After a few external issues and a fast-approaching ‘go live’ date, Philo was pulled in to help complete this vital last step. Philo stepped up to the job, delivering quality in a timely manner.

Overall, the transition was made streamlined for all involved due to such a clear system and minimal steps required for logging in and out. Philo believes the trick to success is making something feel effortless, regardless of how technical or how hard a system may be working in the background.

Spacing Dash

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