The Control Room and Operation Center of the Future: Flexibility is King

While control rooms and operation centers have changed dramatically over the years, their core function hasn’t changed--they continue to be focused on monitoring information for mission critical decision making. The biggest changes have come from what companies consider mission critical and from the amount of information, video and data streams are available to monitor.

Years ago a manufacturer might have considered its factory floor mission critical, but today, they might also consider their social media feeds mission critical--monitoring and managing social media is critical for their brand but can also provide information relevant to security, to supply chain, transportation, weather etc.

The number and variety of data and information sources is booming and that has also made significant changes to the way control rooms and operation centers work. People have all sorts of information at their fingertips to make decisions, but they still need to be able to sort and view that information to understand how best utilize it. This is known as situational awareness and this is where the video walls in operation centers and control rooms provide value: helping sort visualize and sort through the information needed for mission critical decisions.

control room

In the past, control room solutions often used very expensive proprietary or specialized hardware that sometimes required extensive setup and training to operate. Some of the equipment was only serviceable by trained technicians who might need to fly in to work on site. This is no longer the case. Simpler, easier to use software solutions with an increased emphasis on mobility and virtual communication are allowing organizations to deploy operation center and control room infrastructure more easily and more quickly and for a lower total cost. This has ensured that the many teams and departments making mission critical decisions can have the same infrastructure to deliver situational awareness that not so long ago was only available for very few applications (and came at a huge price tag). There are now operation centers of all kinds: network, security, social media, data, digital to name just a few.

Beyond the control room and operation center, there are also teams using these same visual display applications for collaboration and decision making outside of a mission critical environment. More and more displays and video walls are being set up in meeting rooms, huddle rooms, etc. to pull up different data and information to look at in different ways to support decision making. As in a traditional control room or operation center, this allows team members to visualize and collaborate.

Being able to pull up and manipulate content quickly and with great ease is a sought after currency for organizations looking to deploy visual display solutions for their business. Userful has that solution! An easy to use way for anyone, with no training to display any video, data, web browser source or any other digital information onto any display and interact with it in real time. Userful’s Command and Control Interface is WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) and as easy to use as that sounds. Users can move and resize unlimited sources on a video wall or large display directly from a web browser -- allowing for efficient source management. Users get full remote KVM functionality allowing them to take over the keyboard and mouse of any interactive sources displayed. No app or additional software is needed, users can manage the displays through their phone, tablet, or computer. This makes it easy for anyone or department to collaborate using a video wall, enabling access and control from anywhere around the globe -- dramatically improving operations. Anyone who wants can try Userful’s Command and Control feature online right now.

A few key features of the command and control module include:

  • An entirely browser-based tool that runs on any platform; no additional software to install or manage and integrate seamlessly with current client software
  • Unlimited number of sources and user licenses for increased flexibility
  • Multiple operators can work simultaneously on the same display
  • Can work entirely on LAN; no WAN or internet connection required for increased security
  • Easy and intuitive interface that does not require additional training

If you would like more information on the Command and Control Module or Userful’s Visual Networking Platform, contact us at info@userful.com.

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