This article will help you prepare for your upgrade from DispatchLog to Dispatch by outlining the new features and settings in Dispatch, as well as the features and settings that are still maintained in Perspective.
Note: The initial Perspective administrator who logs into Dispatch will become a Dispatch administrator. This user must configure other users’ access to the application. If you have a login issue on your first login, contact us.
What are operational zones and work zones?
One of the biggest differences between DispatchLog and Dispatch is the introduction of zones.
Zones can be thought of as an area of responsibility. Whether you’re a multi-national client or a single-site operation, operational zones allow you to quantify the first level of responsibility for your dispatches.
In the multi-national sense, each operational zone might be a country where you’re doing business and the work zones in each operational zone might refer to the region or cities where you operate. The ability for each operational zone to be subdivided by any number of work zones allow for separation of duties between zones or for a collective view of operations within that country, while still allowing work zones to operate independently as needed.
In a single-site or smaller organization, an operational zone might be the site itself. However, this site can still be subdivided into work zones (e.g. front/back of house or airside/groundside) to indicate areas of responsibility and allow for call separation and independent operation.
The key rule is this: if you’re going to be sharing resources between zones, you’ll likely set up work zones within a single operational zone. If there is no need to share resources between two or more zones, each of those zones is likely an operational zone.
For more detailed information on zones and teams, see the Dispatch: What Are Zones & Teams? article.
What else is new in Dispatch?
The new Dispatch’s settings allows an administrative user to maintain a number of features formerly found in Perspective Administration, along with several new features.
User settings – Users can now set a preferred theme as well as a location that the Maps panel will focus on by default.
System settings – Dispatch numbers can now be reset at a predetermined time and frequency. Closed dispatches can be set to be removed daily from the Closed Dispatches panel.
Visual alerts – Visual alerts are now created in Dispatch. Visual alerts can be added to statuses (System settings), priorities (Priority), teams (Zones & Teams), and locations (Locations).
Users – User accounts can be created for three different permission levels:
Dispatcher – Can create and manage dispatches and configure User settings and Notifications only.
Administrator – Can create and manage dispatches and access and maintain administrative settings.
Reviewer – Can view dispatches, but cannot create dispatches, access administrative settings, or perform any other tasks.
RTAs – RTA settings are now managed in Dispatch and can be set to represent any progress in the dispatching process.
Officer Alerts – Though officer statuses are determined by the Activity Statuses lookup list in Perspective, officer alerts are now managed in Dispatch and can be set to represent any officer status.
Locations – One of the greatest improvements in the new Dispatch interface is found in the Locations section. While locations can be tied to your Perspective Site rollups, the Locations panel gives your administrator the ability to expand upon these sites, adding geographic locations, addresses, indoor locations, photographs, maps, and site notes which will display as a message when a location is dispatched. See the Dispatch: What Are Locations? article for more information.
In order to take full advantage of these new features, one of the key administrative duties prior to upgrading to Dispatch 5.0 or later is to ensure these locations are mapped out.
Notifications – Notifications can be set to alert users via pop-ups and audio alerts for items like new dispatches, RTA expiries, messages, etc.
What's still maintained in Perspective?
Workgroups – Because dispatches will still be migrated into the Data Forms once they’re closed, workgroups are still maintained in Perspective.
Lookup Lists – There are a number of lookup lists that are used in Dispatch, but are still maintained in Perspective, including:
Call Categories – These are the types of dispatches that are occurring (e.g. burglar alarm, emergency, etc.)
Site rollups – You can create new locations in Dispatch, but those locations will ideally be linked to your Site rollups. It’s recommended that you review your sites prior to your upgrade as well as begin planning how to use the new location features by obtaining floorplans, schematics, or photos of key locations.
Activity Statuses – This lookup list determines which options are available when setting an officer’s status in Dispatch (e.g. Busy, Available, Break, Lunch, etc.).
Priority – Unique priorities can be created in Dispatch, however, they must still be linked to the Priority lookup list in Perspective.
Call Sign – The Call Sign lookup list determines which call signs can be assigned to officers when they’re brought on duty in Dispatch.
SOPs – SOPs (also known as Standard Operating Procedures) are still created and configured in Perspective, however, checklists and attachments can still be viewed and SOP-related emails can be sent in Dispatch once an activity triggers an SOP.
Entity Records – Person, Organization, Vehicle, and Item records can all be accessed through Dispatch and added to records where needed, however, these records are still maintained in Perspective and cannot be updated through Dispatch. Dispatch users will only be able to see records they normally have access to in Perspective.
DispatchLog will still be available in version 5.0 and later, so you can capture your dispatches as you prepare to upgrade at your own pace. Once you’re ready to upgrade to Dispatch, contact Resolver Support and we’ll help you with the process.
Note: Any active dispatches in DispatchLog must be closed and cleared from the console prior to upgrading or the data will be lost.