Avtec Scout Enterprise Consoles Capability Guide

Introduction

Avtec’s Scout™ dispatching system meets the needs of a wide range of mission-critical and business-critical environments. It maximizes efficiency, ensures safety, increases delivery reliability, and reduces costs, all of which are vital to the success of any organization.

Scout consoles handle all voice communication – both radio and telephony – and seamlessly integrate these technologies. Additionally, Scout’s IT-friendly features provide unified views of system diagnostics, alarms, and reports.

Scout is a pure Internet Protocol (IP) communication tool based on open standards which prevents customers from being locked-in to a proprietary system. It can be integrated with third-party technologies and works with commercial off-the-shelf communications equipment, which simplifies upgrade and migration strategies and thus helps to future-proof dispatch centers.

As a system built on IP technology, Scout offers no single point of failure, is designed around an inherently scalable and redundant architecture, and has components that are easily distributed across an enterprise network, mitigating the risk of loss. Scout allows access to multiple communication channels and has an extremely customizable and easily maintained graphical user interface (GUI).

Characteristics

Consider these Scout characteristics that set it apart from other consoles.

  • The Scout User Interface: Scout is unparalleled in its configurability. Configure different window sizes, web browser objects, map backgrounds, custom buttons, colors, fonts, button icons, and more with one, simple-to-use application. The Scout System Administrator can develop unlimited screen configurations and assign them to any or all dispatch positions as required by business needs, and the administrator can develop a look that mirrors a legacy system to help reduce dispatcher training time.
  • Standard Components: Scout supports commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) computers and networking equipment, while only requiring proprietary hardware for components unique to a console system. Customers can use standard computers, network switches, and routers, simplifying procurement and configuration, sparing maintenance, and reducing life-cycle costs.
  • Ease-of-Configuration: The Scout System Administrator uses a single, simple software system, Scout Manager, to maintain all system components remotely, via network access. An SQL database and standard XML files store the configuration data.
  • Dispatching Environment Options: Scout's suite of console options addresses the needs of 24x7 dispatch operations, whether the dispatchers require a fixed location, the flexibility of a system that operates on a laptop, or the portability of an accessory that runs on a tablet or laptop over Wi-Fi or LTE network. Mobile Scout™ is a field-tested mobile dispatch solution that runs on a Windows 10 tablet. As an alternative to legacy deskset devices, Mobile Scout is Bluetooth® compatible.
  • Scout Audio Options: Scout's fixed location dispatching environment offers two options for audio: the Hardware Audio Package and the Software Audio Package. The Scout Hardware Audio Package Plus provides dedicated hardware for audio processing to ensure the highest level of reliability. It includes dual network connections, is backward compatible with legacy Scout accessories, and meets global safety standards including RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances). Scout's Software Audio Package offers the highest level of flexibility which allows organizations to break free of traditional limitations in dispatch technology. The Software Audio Package runs on a Windows desktop, or on a laptop computer for mobility, and provides dispatch centers the ability to relocate or expand quickly for disaster management or during special events. The system uses Avtec USB peripherals or standard USB peripherals.
  • Redundancy: VPGate™, Scout’s voice gateway, uses redundancy as a basis of its design to prevent losing operations if a failure occurs. VPGate’s failover capability provides a highly resilient system design that can continue to operate in a number of disaster scenarios, ensuring that the endpoints assigned to VPGate continue to be available for uninterrupted operation from all console positions. Scout also provides redundancy in other major system components.
  • Diagnostics: Every system element reports to the Scout Central Distributor (SCD), which permits the capability to observe detailed system behavior including audio diagnostics, console states, and component health. Log files created for each major subsystem allow deeper diagnostic analysis if necessary. Scout also sends SNMP messages for its alarms and events to as many as four SNMP managers to allow administrators the ability to view messages through an integrated management console.
  • IT Friendly: Scout is a pure VoIP solution because all of its components can be distributed over a LAN/WAN infrastructure using standard Ethernet technology, without the need for a centralized TDM (Time Division Multiplex) switch. If dispatch center size and locations change, then Scout easily adjusts to the required scaling needs. For companies with Scout systems in different geographical sites, Avtec offers Frontier™ which allows autonomous Scout IP systems to link with one another over a wide area network to form a very large-scale enterprise communication solution.
  • Scalability: A Scout system is capable of supporting hundreds of consoles and thousands of endpoints.
  • Enterprise-Wide Management: Scout offers a unique suite of enterprise management tools that allow for system visibility and management of voice communications over large distributed enterprises that are typical in airline, railroad, utility, and public safety installations. Key benefits include: reduced enterprise-wide LAN/WAN VoIP traffic bandwidth; centralized console configuration management; and unified views of system diagnostics, alarms, and reports.
  • Future-Proof Flexibility: Scout uses software interfaces to third-party endpoint devices to provide a dynamic, scalable, and extensible platform that easily accommodates new and legacy technologies. Concurrent support of open standard and proprietary radio and telephony protocols makes Scout the perfect solution for supporting communication technology migration plans.