Microsoft, Motorola team on public safety system

The two companies will focus on interoperable computer-aided dispatch systems with records management systems and mobile devices.

Microsoft and Motorola announced an agreement Tuesday to jointly develop state-of-the-art interoperable systems for public safety organizations.

Under the nonexclusive arrangement, the two companies will focus on interoperable computer-aided dispatch systems with records management systems and mobile devices based on a Microsoft .NET platform and delivered in a service-oriented architecture environment.

“If you look at the marriage of pulling information in multiple forms across multiple infrastructures all the way from the data center to the mobile handheld device, it’s a perfect marriage of really delivering this incredible immediate delivery and functionality to a large set of public sector customers with this partnership,” said Tom Richey, Microsoft’s homeland security director.

Richey added that the new generation of public safety technology will have different functions, performance and cost. He said the companies don’t intend to rip and replace their customers’ existing systems, but weave the new technology into them, improving reliability and lowering maintenance costs.

The Web services-driven integrated justice product that the two companies are developing will provide a common operating picture for public safety users. The system, which will connect dispatch and records management systems with mobile devices, will allow agencies from multiple jurisdictions to gather and store information in one framework, which would also have link-analysis capabilities, he said.

Multiple jurisdictions will not only be able to connect with one another but also with other regional and federal systems. Richey said the companies are working on a projected timeline for the product.

It’s not Microsoft’s first working relationship with Motorola. The two have worked on selling a Motorola cell phone with a Microsoft CE platform. That led to other discussions and conversations about one and a half years ago, which resulted in the current announcement.

“It is a significant partnership and we didn’t enter it lightly,” Richey said. “We’ve been thinking long and hard and had lot of meetings and lots of discussions on how to best merge our capabilities.”

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