We are excited to share the latest updates on the NowForce Dispatcher Version 5.3 (June 12th, 2019). The new version includes new features, additional functionality and an improved UI in certain modules of the NowForce Dispatcher.
Resources Monitor: Instant Communication with Resources in a given Area
In our ongoing effort to expand the Resources Monitor's capabilities in recent releases, the dispatch operator can already view and monitor the statuses of all resources (users, units, assets, POIs, or incidents) within any given area/geofence/polygon. The dispatch operator can also draw an ad-hoc geofence on the map and instantly monitor the status of all resources within the newly drawn geofence.
In addition to the above, we are now adding powerful tools to enable dispatch operators to act on the live intelligence enabling them to immediately communicate with all users within any given area either via the Smart Messaging/BOLO module (including SMS fallback where applicable) or by creating an ad-hoc PTT audio channel for all users within the designated area.
Note: These communication methods will only work for users who are logged-in on their app and who have permission to access the Messaging or PTT Channels modules:
For a detailed support article on using the Resource Panel, click here.
Incident Update for Assets/Managers - New UI and Functionality
We redesigned the UI for sending messages from within an incident. You can now select specific assets in an Incident (i.e. incident callers, managers, people linked to the incident location etc.) as recipients of the incident update.
The new UI for Asset Update enables the dispatch operator to modify message contents, add/remove recipients, and add attachments.
This feature is ideal for updating decision makers (who are usually not dispatched to the incident) on the current status of ongoing incidents.
Warning on Dispatcher Logout
To increase dispatch operator's accountability and situation awareness, we are introducing two new logout warnings:
- Notification for a dispatch operator attempting to logout when there are active incidents remaining:
- Notification for a dispatch operator attempting to logout when there are no other dispatch operators logged-in to the current control center:
Command Line Interface (CLI)
The CLI panel (Command Line Interface) is an add-on intended to support high throughput dispatch centers. The CLI panel enables dispatch operators to perform specific operational actions directly from the CLI window using a keyboard only. The dispatch operator can open/close an incident or dispatch users to an incident using the CLI instead of through the Dispatcher interface.
Note: To use the CLI module, the system administrator must enable CLI in the System Configuration table.
For a detailed support article on CLI, please click here.
Creating Customized Filters in Incidents Panel
In the Search pane on the Incidents panel you can now save your favorite customized search patterns as a permanent filter.
For a detailed support article on using the Incidents Search pane, click here.
New UI for Incident and User Dynamic Statuses
In the past, Dynamic Statuses were applicable to both incidents and users. As we found this to be confusing, we are now separating Incident Dynamic Statuses from Users Dynamic Statuses.
In the new UI, we have also emphasized the distinction between fixed routine Progress statuses ('en route', 'on scene', 'done' etc.) and customized Situation reports.
Smart Messaging: new 'Not Available' status
The Smart Messaging/BOLO module displays the response statistics for each message (showing how many messages are pending, read, replied etc.). We have now added the statistics for a message status previously unaccounted for - Users who are not available.
This includes the following situations:
- User has not installed the app
- User is currently offline
- User has a communication issue (no push certificate, negative "keep alive" status)
- User has no permission to view messages
Note: This new Not Available status does not include pending messages that have been sent to the app for which the server has not yet received an acknowledgment:
For a detailed support article on using App Messages, click here.
Users Panel: Simplification of Users Statuses
- Merging User Filters: In the past, Filter Users By Status was located in the footer of the Users panel.
Filter Users by Status is now merged into the Users Search pane, under the Mobile Device tab.
For a detailed support article on how to use Users Search, click here.
- Location Age Indicator: Merging two similar configurations
In previous versions we had two separate configurations for determining the behavior of user locations:
- The first configuration was for the locations color scheme and defined the thresholds for switching location colors in the location column of the Users panel. (i.e. blue = location is "fresh", red = location is outdated).
- The second configuration defined the time interval (in minutes) that the user's location was no longer reliable and therefore that user would not be displayed on the map nor auto-dispatched to an incident:
To eliminate confusion and simplify the location management, we have unified both configurations so that the second configuration has been merged into the "red" coded (=outdated location) setting. Now the administrator must only set the red coded threshold.
That's it for now. Stay tuned as we look forward to sharing many new exciting features with you in our next release.