Public Safety Industry Enabling Platform – A New Driver of Digital Transformation

Public Safety Industry Enabling Platform - A New Driver of Digital Transformation

In the industrial era, parts can be quickly assembled and produced at a factory. Similar to such a factory, the public safety industry enabling platform provides the commonly used function modules for public Saferty business, such as video analysis, converged communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), and Big Data, in an “as-a-service” manner.

By Liu Min, Chief Architect of Huawei’s Safe City Solution

As such, public safety customers can flexibly orchestrate and combine these functional modules in a building block-like way and then quickly develop new business applications. This approach avoids repeated development, streamlines the flow of information between application systems, and provides a feasible way to gradually eliminate siloed Public Safety business applications.

How to Cope With “Silos on the Cloud” During the Course of Policing informatization?

Public safety cloud infrastructures are being built in full swing around the globe. More police business applications are being deployed on the cloud. However, the business systems for different types of police officers are built separately, resulting in a patchwork of numerous police business systems. Additionally, each system involves multiple software suppliers, and the business system of each software supplier is independent from the others. Therefore, even if some police businesses have been migrated to the cloud, systems for these businesses are siloed on the cloud (or called “silos on the cloud”).

The siloed self-built systems for different types of police officers have many disadvantages. For example, it is time- and labor-consuming to assess and manage numerous software suppliers; it has to start with the source code or modify the existing code when developing a new business system, which results in a small intersystem resource utilization rate, high development costs and a long delivery period. Additionally, information cannot be shared, leading to difficult cross-departmental collaboration. A typical example is the process of detaining a suspect in a detention center. This process requires entering dozens of information items in the system. However, some of information is only accessible in another police business system and cannot be automatically obtained. This results in dissatisfaction and a “last mile” issue during the course of police informatization.

The public safety cloud has shifted from the traditional IT mode to “silos on the cloud” mode. In essence, this shift has completed the centralization of resources, which plays a good foundation to resolve the above-mentioned issues. The next step is to take advantage of the already built public safety cloud infrastructures to build a public safety industry enabling platform that can streamline the workflows and information flows across police business systems and efficiently share the policing informatization achievements across departments. Building this platform is also an important topic related to digital transformation of the public safety industry.

An Industry Enabling Platform Is an Inevitable Way for an Extension from IaaS to PaaS

During the evolution from traditional IT to cloud computing, “as-a-service” is also evolved from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Platform as a Service (PaaS). According to Gartner, a type of PaaS that supports business application deployment and running is called Application Platform as a Service (A-PaaS). The above-mentioned public safety industry enabling platform belongs to A-PaaS.

Public Safety Industry Enabling Platform - A New Driver of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has become a megatrend in every industry. A large number of industry requirements catalyze the quick maturity of the application market. There are increasingly higher requirements for collaboration among applications and systems. As such, it is increasingly significant to build an industry enabling platform. Players in almost all industries are pursuing technical innovation and business transformation to quickly build and evolve business processes and maximize return on investment (ROI). The public safety industry is no exception.

Huawei has unmatched R&D capabilities and provides the extensive range of ICT products and solutions across the entire industry chain. With these strengths, Huawei has developed a public safety industry enabling platform that provides an open, flexible, convenient, and efficient development framework for public safety business applications. The experience and capability components from customers and partners can be accumulated as assets under this development framework, making it possible to quickly create new business applications in a building block-like manner. The informatization capability assets in the digital world will better support the actual business needs of the physical world.

The Public Safety Industry Enabling Platform Opens a Fast Track to Police Business Innovations

The police customers are accelerating their informatization pace. The public safety industry enabling platform will assist them in transforming application systems into “as-a-service” and “as-a-microservice” ones. This transformation helps streamline business processes and data flows across different types of police officers, and solve the “last mile” issue during the course of police informatization. Huawei’s public safety industry enabling platform provides a complete toolkit, including a PaaS adapter, general-purpose components, industry-specific components, a MarketPlace, an application builder, and DevOps components, as shown in the following figure.

Public Safety Industry Enabling Platform - A New Driver of Digital Transformation

The PaaS adapter is used to shield the underlying infrastructure differences, which facilitates the deployment of the enabling platform.

General-purpose services provide developers with convenient templates and wizard tools.
General-purpose components offer the commonly used capability modules in application systems, such as map and statistics modules.

Industry-specific components refer to those fitted with the unique attributes of the public safety industry, including the face recognition and tracking components.

The MarketPlace is like a big shelf, which can house the above-mentioned components. In the MarketPlace, the card market is designed for presenting individualized assets of different types of police officers.

The application builder provides drag-and-drop and what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) tools to help developers to invoke the desired capabilities from the MarketPlace and then conduct application development, testing, deployment, and maintenance under the DevOps framework.

In particular, the industry-specific components are the basic capability library for the “tactics” in the public safety industry. The application capabilities developed by different types of police officers are accumulated in this library. Building a new tactic must start with finding reusable components from this library. It can be said that avoiding repeated construction starts from here. This approach has decoupled general-purpose capability components from application systems. As a result, police customers can select the most advanced, suitable experiential references and quickly create the applications or workflows that best suit practical requirements, contributing to fast business innovation.

Image a scenario where we have incorporated the intelligent video analysis and Big Data analysis capabilities into the police dispatch (incident receiving and handling) processes. When receiving an incident, the police dispatch system automatically invokes the intelligent video analysis and Big Data services, searches for criminal suspects and suspicious vehicles, analyzes the track, and provides background information. This approach greatly improves the police dispatch accuracy and achieves highly efficient response and command.

We also can add the “suspension of payment” components of the bank to the platform (specifically to the telecommunication fraud handling process). After that, we can notify the bank of the fault at the earliest time possible and enable the bank to refuse to pay to the fraud suspects. This helps prevent economic losses worth tens of billions of RMB every year. Huawei’s public safety industry enabling platform paves the way for the transformation of the public safety industry. With this platform, police customers can develop and give full play to new, effective “tactics”, taking public safety to new levels.

The Public Safety Industry Enabling Platform Empowers the Entire Industry Chain and Presents Unlimited Possibilities for Digital Transformation

PaaS brings about changes to platform construction models, which presents both huge challenges and unlimited opportunities. For example, the Salesforce company has only approximately 1,000 core R&D personnel, but they have enabled a development ecosystem of about 1,000,000 participants. Similarly, the public safety industry enabling platform will inject a new driving force to the entire industry chain. With this enabling platform, police customers can build applications on an as-a-service cloud platform that can continuously deliver solutions. This eliminates “silos on the cloud” and accelerates business innovations. Software suppliers can benefit from richer capability components, simplify their development work, and focus more efforts on maximizing the functions of business applications. After “as-a-service” components are released on the platform, licenses can be charged, which creates a new business model. System integrators no longer need to designate engineers to engage in onsite development for each project. This helps optimize the profitability mode.

According to Zion Market Research, PaaS is estimated to create a revenue of US$9.12 billion by the end of 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 30% from 2016 to 2021. The public safety industry enabling platform is a new sector that will disrupt and reshape the business application development models. However, it will also experience a gradual growth process, as there is a need to accumulate industry-specific components and drive the set-up of organizational management mechanisms. The as-a-service model has gradually become the megatrend for digital transformation of the public safety industry. We believe that the public safety industry enabling platform will help create more intelligent, efficient public safety models and accelerate digital transformation of the public safety industry, because this platform can create more applications and workflows to better empower the police, shorten the development period, and reduce the development costs.

HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, Huawei’s flagship event for the global ICT industry, will be held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, September 5 to 7, 2017. The theme is Grow with the Cloud. During this global platform for open collaboration, Huawei will help customers and partners explore new ways to grow through digitalized transformation. For more information about HUAWEI CONNECT 2017, please visit our website: https://www.huawei.com/minisite/huaweiconnect2017/en/

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Read the Safe City White Paper:The Road to Collaborative Public Safety now to know more

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