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Business Continuity & Emergency Response Planning

Did you know that 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster? As a proactive leader, you can’t afford to be part of this statistic.

It’s time to safeguard your organization with effective business continuity and emergency response planning. No matter the challenge, you’ll learn to identify threats, safeguard assets, and maintain operations.

It’s not just about surviving, it’s about thriving in adversity. Let’s make your business bulletproof.

Key Takeaways

  • Crisis response planning is important, and organizations should have a plan in place.
  • Organizations can customize their continuity plans based on their specific needs.
  • Business impact analysis helps organizations understand the true impact of their processes and identify gaps and unique exposures.
  • Compliance and reporting are important to ensure organizations align with industry standards and maintain plan metrics and reports for audits.

Understanding the Importance of Business Continuity and Emergency Response Planning

While you’re working on your company’s day-to-day operations, it’s crucial that you don’t overlook the importance of business continuity and emergency response planning. These strategies can significantly impact how well your business handles unexpected disruptions.

To start, you need to develop a business continuity plan. This plan should identify potential threats to your business, such as natural disasters or cyber attacks, and outline proactive measures to mitigate these risks. It might include data backup strategies, alternative supply chains, or emergency internet and communication protocols. Especially with how important technology has become to all of your business operations, you should have plans in place in the case of emergencies like power outages, floods, or storms.

Then, focus on emergency response planning. Your goal is to ensure your team knows exactly what to do when a disruption occurs. This plan should detail evacuation procedures, emergency contact information, emergency materials like a mobile command center, and steps for resuming operations.

To strengthen your disaster recovery efforts, continuously test and update these plans. It’s not enough to create them and forget about them. Regularly put them into practice through drills and revise them based on your findings.

Key Elements of Effective Business Continuity Planning

Hand completing emergency response planning list by equipment

The key elements of effective business continuity planning include the creation of a risk management strategy and a solid disaster recovery plan. Your planning process should start with a comprehensive risk assessment. This means identifying potential threats to your business and understanding their possible impact on your critical operations.

Take a proactive approach. Don’t wait for a disaster to strike before taking action. Implement an emergency response plan that outlines the necessary steps to take in the event of a crisis. This plan should be easy to understand and follow, ensuring minimal impact on your business operations.

Your business continuity planning should also focus on the recovery process. How will you get your business back on track after a disaster? What resources will you need? Answering these questions will help you develop a robust disaster recovery plan.

The Role of Risk Assessment in Business Continuity Planning

In business continuity planning, it’s essential to conduct a thorough risk assessment. This identifies potential threats to your operation and helps create effective strategies to counter those risks. You need to examine every aspect of your operation, pinpointing areas of vulnerability. Consider internal and external threats, from cyberattacks to natural disasters.

Next, you need to perform a business impact analysis. This involves determining the potential effects of a disruption on your business operations. You’ll need to consider how each potential threat could impact your day-to-day operations, your reputation, and your bottom line.

Once you’ve identified potential threats and their impacts, you can start crafting your emergency response plan. This includes creating procedures to respond to and recover from a disaster. You’ll need to define roles, responsibilities, and actions to be taken in the event of a crisis.

Building a Robust Disaster Response Team

For effective disaster management, you’ll need to focus on building a robust disaster response team where each member’s roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, and they’re well-prepared for handling emergencies. It’s crucial that you establish a strong incident commander who can lead the team through any crisis. This person should have a comprehensive understanding of your business continuity plans, be trained on how to use emergency rugged deployables, and be able to make quick, informed decisions.

Your emergency planning should include regular drills and simulations to test the team’s response to various scenarios. This proactive approach ensures that each member knows their role and can perform it under pressure. It’s equally important to regularly review and update your business continuity to adapt to changes within your organization or the external environment.

In building a robust disaster response team, you must consider the different skills and expertise needed. This includes individuals capable of managing communication, logistics, medical response, and other essential roles. Remember, a well-structured, well-prepared team can significantly reduce the impact of a disaster on your organization.

Strategies for Effective Emergency Communication

CSG Mobile Command Center Mini

Often, you’ll need to ensure that your team’s emergency communication strategies are updated and tested to guarantee effectiveness during crisis situations. The key is having a robust emergency communication system, such as Connected Solution Group’s mobile command center that provides emergency internet, as part of your crisis management plan.

This system should aim for timely communication, ensuring all team members are promptly informed about any crisis situation. It’s not just about having a plan — you should also invest time in training your team on how to use it effectively. Keep in mind that your emergency plan is only as good as its execution.

Strategies for effective emergency communication might include:

  • Regular testing and updating of the emergency communication system.
  • Training team members on how to use the system effectively.
  • Ensuring multiple channels of communication are available to avoid reliance on a single method.
  • Establishing a clear protocol for who communicates what information and when.

Implementing a Successful Business Continuity Strategy

You’re in the process of implementing a successful business continuity plan, but remember, this involves more than just drafting policies — it also requires consistent testing and updating. Business continuity management is a dynamic process requiring a proactive, detail-oriented approach.

To ensure organizational resilience, your plan must cover all aspects of your business operations. This includes identifying key functions, determining potential threats, and devising strategies to mitigate those risks. Emergency response is a critical component of this plan. You need to have procedures in place to react swiftly and effectively when a disruption occurs.

But it’s not enough to have these procedures on paper. You must test these plans regularly to identify gaps or improvement areas. It’s crucial to incorporate any changes in your business environment, such as new technologies or regulations, into your plan.

Crisis Management and Business Continuity Management

Business continuity concept by stopping domino effect

One important part of business continuity management is Connected Solution Group’s mobile command centers, an essential technology that ensures continuity in even the roughest situations. You should also explore crisis management and business continuity through case studies. This approach helps you grasp not only the theory but also the practical application of these concepts. These studies provide real-world examples of how organizations have responded to major disasters, highlighting the importance of a sound business continuity strategy and effective crisis management.

Here’s what you can learn from case studies:

  • They offer insights into emergency procedures that have been tested under real pressure.
  • They illustrate the consequences of being unprepared for a crisis.
  • They demonstrate the importance of having a robust business continuity strategy in place.
  • They underscore the significance of training and communication in crisis management.

By analyzing these case studies, you’re better equipped to understand the potential challenges and pitfalls that can emerge during a crisis. This knowledge can inform your own business continuity strategy, helping you enhance your organization’s ability to respond swiftly and effectively in the face of a major disaster.

Always remember, it’s not just about surviving the crisis but also thriving in the aftermath.

The Impact of Technology on Business Continuity and Emergency Response

Every bit of technology you’re using has the potential to significantly transform your business continuity and emergency response strategies. Think about it: your alarm systems, for instance, aren’t just for detecting break-ins. They’re also crucial for ensuring quick emergency service response when a crisis strikes.

Your evacuation plans, too, can be digitized and readily accessible on various devices, ensuring everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. But what happens during power outages? Well, you’ve got backup generators and UPS systems to keep your critical operations running until the main power supply is restored.

And let’s not forget about storing data. Cloud-based storage solutions aren’t just for ease of access and collaboration but also for ensuring business continuity. When disaster strikes, your physical infrastructure may be compromised, but your data isn’t if it’s stored in the cloud.

Connected Solution Group’s mobile command centers are a vital piece of technology for business continuity and emergency response.

Training and Education for Business Continuity and Emergency Response

Understanding the complexities of business continuity and emergency response requires dedicated training and a commitment to ongoing education. You’re not just learning the basics but also diving into advanced topics such as evacuation routes and disaster analysis. It’s crucial to be proactive, always seeking to enhance your knowledge and skills.

The National Fire Protection Association emphasizes the importance of continuous training and education for business continuity and emergency response. They also stress the need for familiarity with the BCI Good Practice Guidelines and understanding and implementing comprehensive evacuation routes. Regular simulation exercises are recommended to test and improve responses.

You’ll find that training and education aren’t static. They evolve with changing threats and business landscapes, requiring you to stay updated and ready. Remember, good business continuity and emergency response planning isn’t just about having a plan — it’s about knowing how to execute it effectively. Your training and education will equip you with the knowledge needed to protect your business, minimize disruption, and ensure a swift recovery.

Stay committed, and your preparedness will pay off when facing an emergency.

Reviewing and Updating Your Business Continuity Plan Regularly

Businessman holds clipboard with plan B in hand. Plan A failed.

You’ll need to review your business continuity plan at least once a year to ensure it’s up to date with any changes in your organization’s operations or structure. Regular reviewing and updating are crucial to ensuring your plan remains effective and relevant in the face of evolving circumstances and threats.

Consider your business functions and how they may have changed or evolved. Have you added new services or perhaps phased out others? How will these changes impact your emergency response planning? Critical functions are those aspects of your business that must continue no matter what may shift over time and need to be reassessed.

Evaluate your emergency response planning. Do your strategies still make sense with your business’s current structure? It’s not just about having a plan but having a plan that works for your unique needs.

Lastly, don’t forget to communicate any changes to your team. Everyone needs to be on the same page for your business continuity plan to work effectively when needed most. Be proactive, update regularly, and your business will be well-prepared for whatever comes its way.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Financial Implications of Not Having a Business Continuity and Emergency Response Plan?

Without a business continuity and an emergency response plan, you’re sailing in stormy seas without a compass. Financially, it’s a gamble. You risk crippling downtime, lost revenue, and potential business failure during unexpected crises.

How Can an Organization Maintain Client Trust and Communication During a Crisis?

You’ll need transparent, consistent communication and emergency internet to maintain client trust during a crisis. Immediately inform clients about the situation, your response, and how it impacts them. Proactive updates demonstrate commitment to their needs and build trust.

Can a Business Continuity Plan Help in the Mitigation of Legal Risks During a Disaster?

Yes, a business continuity plan can mitigate legal risks. It’s like your legal shield during a disaster, helping you uphold regulations, maintain standards, and avoid lawsuits. Make sure it’s robust and frequently updated.

What Are Some Examples of Businesses That Have Successfully Implemented Their Business Continuity Plans During a Crisis?

Sure, companies like IBM, Amazon, and Walmart have successfully implemented their business continuity plans during crises. Their plans ensured uninterrupted services, safeguarding their reputation and customer trust in challenging times.

How Can Small Businesses Establish a Robust Business Continuity and Emergency Response Plan on a Limited Budget?

You can establish a robust business continuity plan even with a limited budget. Prioritize key operations, cross-train personnel, back up essential data regularly, and test your plan frequently. Every small step increases resilience.

Secure Your Business Against the Unexpected With Connected Solutions Group

Don’t wait until it’s too late! In today’s unpredictable world, ensuring your business’s continuity and the ability to serve your customers is not just an option — it’s a necessity. Emergencies like power outages, floods, and storms don’t send invitations, they strike when least expected. Can your business weather the storm? Connected Solutions Group’s mobile command centers are designed to be the lifeline you need in challenging situations. They act as a crucial hub, ensuring that your operations remain uninterrupted and your communication lines stay active with emergency internet, no matter the external circumstances. Give your business the edge it needs to outlast any challenge. Ensure continuity. Choose Connected Solutions Group’s mobile command centers. Act now to fortify your business’s future!

How to Increase Transactions with a Wireless Point of Sale

A point-of-sale (POS) is the most crucial device a business will use since it is where most customer transactions will be made. Moreover, today’s innovative mobile POS (mPOS) systems can help businesses of any size gather information that enhances their decision-making, streamline operations for faster and better customer service, and so much more.

With numerous hardware and software features, nearly any hospitality or retail business will find advantages when implementing a mobile POS system into their workflow. Best of all, these advantages can help generate increased sales for any business and expand the number of opportunities for one to sell and earn even more revenue.

At CSG, we assist businesses in fully utilizing their cloud-based and mobile POS systems by providing reliable wireless business internet solutions. While our solutions are designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind, we are dedicated to ensuring your business’s success by providing expert technical support services.

Below, we will describe how a wireless POS system can help a business increase transactions, how one can benefit your business, the problems a good wireless POS system can resolve, and how to know which mobile POS system is right for you.

How a Mobile POS System Can Increase Sales

Wirelessly connected mobile POS systems are a worthwhile investment, as they offer several features that allow businesses to operate more efficiently at multiple levels, often resulting in higher sales revenue. Here are some ways investing in a mobile POS can improve sales:

Real-Time Advanced Inventory Management

Among the most helpful wireless POS features is their advanced inventory management, which streamlines the tracking and organization of a business’s available products or services.

Through the inventory management feature, you and your staff can know what products are in stock and which are running out in real-time.

This feature allows businesses to effectively learn when to order more stock before running out, ensuring consistently high sales for their most popular products.

Better Customer Service Experiences

Because mobile POS systems are designed with faster digital payment processing in mind, they allow businesses to focus more on providing enhanced customer service experiences.

In addition to reducing waiting times or long checkout lines, mobile POS software allows your business to set up cross-selling opportunities by providing recommendations for complementary items or personalized suggestions based on a returning customer’s purchase history.

With more time and information available, your business will be able to serve customers more promptly and considerately, which can lead to greater sales revenue.

Easier & More Accessible Checkout

As mentioned previously, mobile POS systems are designed for faster digital payment methods. Having built-in payment processing allows them to work quicker and more efficiently at checkout, ensuring more customers make purchases at a faster pace, leading to higher sales.

Furthermore, the best mobile POS systems can use nearly all payment methods, including traditional debit or credit card processing, digital payments from Android or iOS devices, and contactless payments through apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

With the ability to accept payments from a wider range of payment methods, your business can serve more customers and inevitably gain higher sales rates.

Taking full advantage of mobile POS features can effectively transform your business and create healthy growth in sales.

To support your mobile POS systems and ensure they are always available, consider getting a dependable connectivity solution from CSG, ensuring you have a reliable wireless business internet connection for every device in your mobile POS system.

5 Benefits of Using a Mobile POS System

In addition to increasing sales, wireless and other mobile POS systems also provide businesses with a bevy of benefits that are useful in keeping their staff productive and efficient, their stock full and organized, and, best of all, their customers happy and ready to shop.

Here are five major benefits of having a wireless POS system implemented for your business:

Fast, Easy Setup and Use

Particularly for small business owners, one of the best benefits of using mobile POS systems is that they are easy to install.

Many of the best mobile POS systems simply involve installing their POS software onto commercially available devices such as smartphones and tablets.

However, some also offer their own POS hardware and mobile reader devices installed with their POS software pre-installed, making it that much quicker and easier for businesses to set up or upgrade their storefronts.

More Productive Staff

Utilizing a mobile POS system also allows staff members to work more productively. With the faster payment processing that mobile POS systems provide, your staff will have more time to focus on providing positive customer service experiences by ensuring your retail environment is neat and your stock is organized and full.

Potential Layout Innovations

Wireless POS systems also allow businesses to innovate their sales floor space and present a more unique customer experience than their competitors.

Using mobile devices connected to your wireless POS system allows staff members to process digital payments anywhere in the store or sales area, allowing them to interact with customers individually.

This allows you to consider opening up the store’s layout so that products can be uniquely displayed and customers can browse more comfortably.

More Opportunities Through Mobility

Wireless and mobile point-of-sale systems also provide businesses with more opportunities to make sales and grow their brand awareness, as many POS systems provide multi-location support.

As long as they maintain a reliable internet connection, a business can move and shift their storefront anywhere, particularly at festivals, trade shows, conventions, and other events related to their industry.

This mobile connection allows your business to interact with more new customers outside of a central storefront, helps add new revenue streams, and expands the presence of its brand.

Growth via Inventory Management Tracking

One more way businesses will benefit from mobile POS systems is through the insights their real-time inventory tracking feature provides.

By simply viewing the data collected over the course of numerous sales, business owners can determine which of their products or services are most popular with customers.

This can then help in making future decisions and ensure a business allocates its resources more effectively, saving them money while increasing profits.

For large and small businesses, a mobile POS system is a worthwhile investment that will benefit them in several ways. Ensure that each terminal and mobile device is connected to your free POS system app or software through a reliable network device from Connected Solutions Group.

3 Business Problems & Their Mobile POS Solutions

Knowing the ways a mobile POS system commonly benefits businesses can be helpful, but below we also provide a few examples of how it can actively improve your business and sales operations. Here are three business problems, along with three mobile POS solutions:

Problem 1: Lack of Sales Insights

Your business’s current point-of-sale system lacks the third-party integrations necessary to combine your physical storefront and your online store sales, making it difficult to track overall sales trends and the insights gained from them.


Many mobile POS options have built-in reporting and analytics features as part of their POS system features.

With them, you’ll be able to find out what your top-selling items are, the periods when business sales are at their peak, and, in some cases, profiles showing precise details of your ideal customer.

Together, these insights and marketing tools can help you make informed business decisions that can lead to further growth and success.

Problem 2: Few Sales Opportunities Outside the Storefront

Your business can potentially capitalize on making sales outside of your central storefront, but your current POS setup isn’t able to move with you.


Wireless point-of-sale systems often provide multi-location support, allowing restaurant and retail businesses to move around and make sales away from their primary locations.

This is often done through a dedicated POS app installed on a mobile device, such as iOS or Android devices. Utilizing wireless POS mobile solutions, your business will be able to make sales almost anywhere.

Problem 3: Poor Data Security

Your business uses POS systems or software that often deals with data breaches and security vulnerabilities, causing hassles for you and your customers by putting your combined private data and payment information at risk.


The best mobile POS and integrated payment processing systems available have built-in digital security features, including up-to-date encryptions and secure authentication protocols. These help protect customer data, prevent harmful breaches, and ensure smooth, safe payment processing.

Be Where Customers Are With a POS System From CSG

A good mobile POS system with the right features will significantly benefit your business. In addition, pairing a cloud-based POS system with a secure and reliable wireless business internet solution from Connected Solutions Group ensures your business is at a continuous advantage, providing high-speed connectivity and lasting coverage for all your mobile devices connected to your wireless point-of-sale system.

Discover how CSG can transform your business through our IoT and cellular connectivity solutions. Contact us today to learn more.

Introducing Signal Hawks

Welcome to the era where a strong signal is the lifeline of every successful business.

In the fast-paced digital landscape, staying connected seamlessly is crucial for productivity and growth. That’s where Connected Solutions Group comes in, backed by their exceptional team known as Signal Hawks. In this blog, we’ll take you on a journey through the world of business connectivity and show you why partnering with Connected Solutions Group and their Signal Hawks team is the ultimate game-changer for your enhancement and network needs.

Your Connectivity Superheroes.

Picture this: a team of dedicated professionals, armed with expertise and a touch of magic, ready to take your business connectivity to the next level. Signal Hawks, the signal enhancement specialists within Connected Solutions Group, are the true heroes of your network challenges. With their unparalleled knowledge and passion for all things signal-related, they bring innovative solutions that are tailor-made for your unique business requirements.

Customized Solutions that Soar.

At Connected Solutions Group, cookie-cutter approaches have no place. Signal Hawks understand that each business is unique, with its own set of connectivity pain points. That’s why they craft custom solutions that address your specific needs and goals. They’re not just here to provide a quick fix; they’re here to design solutions that elevate your connectivity to new heights, ensuring you can navigate the digital world effortlessly.

Amplify Your Connectivity with Router Optimization.

Your router is the gateway to your digital universe, and Signal Hawks know exactly how to optimize it for maximum performance. They delve into the intricacies of your setup, fine-tuning every setting to ensure your signal strength and stability are rock-solid. Imagine the power of seamless streaming, lightning-fast downloads, and uninterrupted video conferences. Signal Hawks make it a reality, so you can focus on what matters most—growing your business.

Empowered by the Speed of 4G and 5G LTE

In the race for faster connectivity, Signal Hawks are at the forefront, armed with the latest advancements in 4G and 5G LTE services. They guide you through the complex world of wireless technology, providing expert consultations, seamless installations, and upgrades that put your business in the fast lane. Say goodbye to sluggish connections and hello to lightning-fast speeds, wider coverage, and unmatched network reliability.

Taking Flight Together.

Let’s hear it from those who have witnessed the Signal Hawks in action. Real businesses, just like yours, have experienced the transformational power of Connected Solutions Group’s customized solutions. From startups to enterprises, industries across the board have embraced the Signal Hawks advantage, reaping the benefits of increased efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Take a look at our latest project for the Town of Ashland.

Connected Solutions Group, fueled by the supercharged expertise of the Signal Hawks team, is your trusted partner for all your enhancement and network needs. With our customized solutions, router optimization wizardry, and mastery of 4G and 5G LTE services, we’ll empower your business to reach new heights of connectivity. It’s time to leave behind the frustrations of weak signals and embrace a future where your business soars above the competition.

Connect with Connected Solutions Group today and unlock the true potential of your business’s connectivity. Together with Signal Hawks, you’ll conquer the digital world with ease and confidence. Get ready to take flight! Learn more about Signal Hawks!

The Importance of Business Connectivity: Beyond Plug-and-Play Convenience

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, reliable and robust network infrastructure is paramount to ensure smooth operations and seamless communication. While plug-and-play routers may seem appealing due to their simplicity and ease of setup, businesses often require more sophisticated solutions to meet their specific demands and challenges. In this blog, we’ll delve into why business customers may need a more reliable and complex router and network, exploring the limitations of plug-and-play devices and the benefits of investing in a comprehensive infrastructure.

Scalability and Performance

For businesses, growth is an inherent goal. As a company expands, its network demands also increase exponentially. Plug-and-play routers, while convenient for small setups, may struggle to handle the growing traffic and data requirements of a flourishing business. A more robust router with advanced features can provide the scalability needed to accommodate higher user numbers, increased data transfers, and additional connected devices without compromising performance.

Security and Data Protection

Data breaches and cyberattacks pose significant threats to businesses of all sizes. While plug-and-play routers may offer basic security features, they may lack the advanced security protocols necessary to protect sensitive business data. Robust routers often come equipped with more comprehensive security measures, such as firewall options, intrusion detection systems, and virtual private networks (VPNs), providing an added layer of protection against potential threats.

Customization and QoS (Quality of Service)

Businesses often have diverse needs that demand a tailored approach to network management. Plug-and-play routers typically have limited customization options, hindering businesses from optimizing their networks for specific applications or prioritizing critical services. Advanced routers allow for Quality of Service (QoS) configurations, enabling businesses to allocate bandwidth to essential tasks, and guaranteeing smooth operations for critical applications.

Redundancy and High Availability

In the business world, downtime can translate into substantial financial losses. Plug-and-play routers may lack redundancy features, leaving businesses vulnerable to single points of failure. On the other hand, robust routers often incorporate redundancy options, such as dual power supplies and failover capabilities, ensuring high availability and minimizing the risk of network disruptions.

Advanced Networking Features

Modern businesses often rely on advanced networking features to support their operations effectively. These features may include VLANs (Virtual Local Area Networks) for network segmentation, multicast routing for efficient data distribution, and support for dynamic routing protocols to manage large-scale networks. Businesses with specific networking requirements can benefit greatly from routers that provide these advanced functionalities.

Traffic Prioritization and Load Balancing

In busy business environments, network traffic can be diverse and demanding. Plug-and-play routers may lack the ability to prioritize traffic effectively or distribute the load efficiently across multiple connections. Sophisticated routers offer traffic prioritization capabilities, ensuring that critical data streams receive the necessary bandwidth and that traffic is balanced across available connections, improving overall network performance.

While plug-and-play routers serve as excellent solutions for home or small office environments, they may fall short when addressing the intricate needs of business customers. A reliable and robust router, equipped with advanced features, not only ensures seamless connectivity but also enhances security, scalability, and performance. Investing in such a router and a comprehensive network infrastructure proves to be a prudent choice for businesses looking to thrive in an increasingly competitive and digitally driven world. Remember, the right network infrastructure is not just a cost; it’s an investment in the long-term success and growth of your business.

Your business demands excellence.
Contact us today to discuss your networking requirements and let our team of experts design a customized solution that empowers your business to thrive in the digital age. Whether you need scalable routers, advanced security features, or expert guidance in network optimization, our dedicated team at Connected Solutions Group is here to support you every step of the way.

What is an on-site survey, and why is it necessary for your installation?

An on-site survey is an important part of nearly every installation we complete. Whether it’s for POTS replacement or interior and exterior router/antenna/adapter installs, a thorough inspection by our field services team ensures the final product will be built to your satisfaction and meeting the network requirements needs of your business.

Wondering what information we gather when we’re on-site?

Hardware, Tools and Equipment

Depending on the complexity of the project, on-site surveys are important to assess what types of special hardware, tools or equipment will be essential, especially for external applications. For example, will a ladder or a vertical lift be needed? Will there be adequate parking for heavy equipment without obstructing traffic? Do we need to drill through wood walls, brick, or concrete? Do we need more cabling to get around an obstruction in the ceiling? Ensuring we have the right tools and information in advance to complete the job is important because it gives us the best idea of what specific tools are necessary for a successful installation.

Network Strength Testing

Nothing worse than investing in slow internet, and an OSS is the preventative measure to ensure all speed testing is done on site before making the switch. Our team tests multiple locations for the ideal coverage and range and provides these results to our customer. Doing this allows us the ability to be on site for testing possible increased coverage options such as an additional access point or antenna that would otherwise be needed after the installation if an on-site survey was not done.


We carefully measure the location of existing hardware to where the new hardware will be installed. We also measure surface space to ensure the new applications will adequately fit the required space, or find additional install locations if required. Knowing measurements from Routers to antennas, Ethernet to hardware, or power to device allows us to ensure we have the correct amount of space and cabling required for the day of installation.


We take several photos at different angles and placement options during on-site surveys to show our team the locations where the components will be installed. These photos show the building or room’s architecture, existing telco locations & parts, wall features we need to avoid, measurements, surfaces & any potential obstructions we need to be made aware of.

Accessibility and Drilling

When we visit a site, we need to get a sense of the accessibility of the space. Fixed applications typically need drilling through materials whether it be wood, brick, or concrete, which changes the way installation is done and tools required. We also need to know how to access the locations for the day of deployment to ensure we have required access: doors unlocked, elevator access, floor level access… etc.

Added Value

Routers, access points, antennas, OH MY!

We don’t expect you to know how this works, or what the best way to install for optimal cellular connectivity is. Our teams are experts in their field and provide a consultative approach to obtain the best results that meet your business needs. Our experience and expertise are invaluable assets that come with years of training, and we look forward to using our skills to improve your business in the most comprehensive way possible.

As you can see, a site survey is an important first step to ensure your project is well planned and executed. For many larger jobs, we require an OSS to give an accurate estimate due to the many variables at play.

When you’re ready to get your business running on cellular connectivity, give us a call at 800-613-2218 or click on the link below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Gateway vs. Router: What’s the Difference and Which One Should You Choose?

Think back to the last time a technician from your internet service provider installed the internet at your home or business. The odds are that you received the traditional setup: A modem and router accompanied by half a dozen long wires.

A router is a crucial device that allows you to connect multiple devices to the internet — but even with the best internet, like 5G or fiber optics, you’ve probably experienced blackouts or less-than-desirable internet speeds.

But why does this happen if you’re paying for a high-quality connection? Because while they’re traditional, routers are not the most reliable way to connect (and stay connected) to the internet.

But the good news is that there is a way to enhance your connection with a gateway.

How Does the Internet Work?

Before breaking down gateways and routers, you first need to understand what networks are and what types of protocols networks may have that could impact how your gateway or router works.

A computer network is a collection of computers sharing a single internet network — connected via Ethernet cables, WiFi, or fiber optics — and have the ability to communicate with each other.

Refer to your home internet: Your home’s computers, smartphones, and televisions likely share the same network via one router. This is called the local area network (LAN).

But some homes and businesses have more than one network, even if they have a single internet provider. It’s not unheard of for the same set of computers to rely on two networks, like 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, to enhance the internet speed and connection. A 5 GHz connection travels faster at shorter distances, while 2.4 GHz travels slower, but at further distances.

5G banner web icon for business and technology, speed, signal, network, technology, big data, Iot and traffic icons. Minimal vector infographic

With that said, these two networks may also have different protocols. That’s when a gateway becomes necessary: Gateways are there to help different networks work together. This is done through the wide area network (WAN).

Protocols are rules that help determine how information is sent and received. They help with network management, network communication, and network security. Here is an example of each type of protocol.

  • Network management: Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is used for diagnostic purposes when there are errors or connectivity issues
  • Network communication: The standard “HTTP” at the beginning of every web address works with a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server
  • Network security: Webpages display a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) tag, which means your information is secure and protected

While network protocols generally work the same way, they may operate slightly differently depending on who created them. A gateway can help different networks with different protocols communicate.

Now that you understand that you can work with one network or multiple networks that may have different protocols, it’s time to dive into the differences between gateways and routers — and how these devices can help secure a stable, safe connection.

What Is a Gateway?

A gateway is a network device that functions as the entry-exit point — i.e., the “gateway” — for data to travel between networks. Gateways differ from routers because they can connect to local area networks (LAN) or wide area networks (WAN).

M106 LTE Gateway Router | CSG | Connected Solutions Group

Because of their ability to connect multiple networks to multiple devices, gateways are most common in business, office settings, industrial settings, enterprise networks, and government buildings. However, many homeowners also have more than one internet network, meaning their routers have gateways or they’ve switched to an all-in-one device for better connectivity.

How Gateways Work

Let’s go back to the earlier example of a single-family home with two networks: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This family needs two networks because they use the internet regularly for work, school, and leisure, like chatting, messaging, and video streaming.

In the home is a router — but inside that router is a gateway. This gateway is here because the home devices want to connect to the two networks. The router can’t connect to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks without the gateway.

So when Bobby wants to stream a YouTube video while Mom is on a Zoom conference call, the router and gateway connect to both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. The router decides the best path for streaming Bobby’s video and Mom’s Zoom call. The gateway is what connects to the separate networks. The Zoom call may use the 5 GHz network, while the YouTube video relies on the 2.4 GHz network.

What Is a Router?

Think of a routing table like a map: A router is a device that directs traffic within a network entity, determining the best path from one device to the internet. Gateways may exist inside routers depending on your network requirements because they can help connect and complete the routing process.

M106 LTE Gateway Router | CSG | Connected Solutions Group

Routers also connect multiple devices on a single network, allowing them to communicate with each other on the internet. Routers are usually used in homes, small-to-medium-sized businesses, and enterprise networks.

How Routers Work

Routers work similarly to gateways, except they don’t have to connect to different computer networks.

In this single-family home, they only have one network: 5 GHz. When Bobby goes on YouTube and wants to load his favorite channel, his smartphone device sends a request to the home’s router via WiFi.

The router then attempts to connect to the internet via the modem. A modem and a router combine to convert digital signals from computers and routers into signals digestible by the network. (In other words, without a modem, there is no WiFi.)

When the router is connected to the modem, it can broadcast the WiFi, allowing Bobby’s smartphone to load YouTube.

So, in short, the router connects to the modem, which connects to the internet service provider with an assigned destination network (in this case, it’s YouTube’s IP address). The router helps route or manage the direction of the traffic of the multiple devices connected to the same network at once.

The Similarities


Routers and Gateway

Purpose Both are network devices that facilitate communication between different networks
Network Layers Both operate at the network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI model
Routing Protocols Both can use common routing protocols such as OSPF, EIGRP, and BGP
Security Both can implement security features such as firewall and VPN technologies
Scalability Both can be scaled to accommodate more extensive networks as needed
Traffic Control Both can control traffic by directing it to the appropriate network path

The Differences




Network vs. Application Layer Most routers operate at Network Layer 3 (OSI Model) A protocol converter gateway may operate at Application Layer 7 (OSI Model)
Function Rotates data packets Acts as an entry/exit point
Network Addressing Uses IP address Uses multiple network protocols
Security Basic firewall and NAT support Advanced security features and firewall
Device Connection Connects devices to the internet Connects multiple networks together
Applications Used in homes and small offices Used in larger networks like enterprises
Protocols Supported Supports standard protocols like TCP/IP, PPP, DHCP, etc. Supports a broader range of protocols like SMTP, HTTP, SNMP, etc.
Features Limited features for managing network traffic Advanced features like load balancing, VPN, etc.
Cost     Relatively lower cost Relatively higher cost

Do You Need Both?

The truth is that there is no clear-cut answer: It all depends on the network’s specific uses and requirements. Both gateways and networks manage and connect to networks but have different functions.

A gateway connects local area networks (LANs) to the vast area network (WAN) or the internet and is used when a site has multiple networks and devices. They may be used in situations requiring advanced routing and security features.

A router connects devices to the local network and manages the data flow between those devices and the internet. They’re often used in smaller networks like single-family homes and small businesses.

Get The Best of Both Worlds

However, there is a third option: An integrated gateway-router. This device combines the router, modem, and gateway functions into one device. It’s an excellent option for any-sized home or business that wants better connectivity and speed across multiple devices.

Take the m106 Gateway Router, for example. This small yet mighty device combines all the features of routers and gateways with faster speeds, more ports, WAN/LAN access, network access control (NAT), a more robust battery, and the ability to connect up to 15 devices simultaneously.

m106 Gateway Router
m106 Gateway Router

All-in-one wifi gateway router devices like this are perfect for families, home offices, small-to-medium-sized businesses, and other areas that require up to 300mbps of speed and are compatible with an 802.11/b/g/n (speed, range, and compatibility) WiFi network.

If your network has high demands — such as office buildings and industrial settings — you might be better off with separate gateway and router hardware. Although these need to operate separately, they can work together to strengthen the internet connection between networks and devices.

Key Takeaways

  • Routers connect multiple devices on a single network, allowing them to communicate with each other on the internet — but it is not the most reliable way to stay connected.
  • A gateway is a network device that is the entry-exit point for data to travel between networks and can connect to local area networks (LAN) or wide area networks (WAN).
  • All-in-one wifi gateway router devices can offer the benefits of both gateways and routers, allowing for more efficient network management and better connectivity. This is ideal for areas with high demands, like office buildings.


A router controls traffic within a network, whereas a gateway connects various networks. However, both can be utilized to build a more extensive network as networking devices.

That’s where an integrated gateway router comes in. This gadget performs the roles of a router, modem, and gateway all in one. Compared to standard routers and modems, any size home or business that wants improved connectivity and speed across various devices should consider this option.

Learn more about CSG’s m106 Gateway Router today.

What is a Mobile Command Center?

A modern mobile control center from the inside

Did you know that some communities are more susceptible to the risks that accompany natural disasters like wildfires, flooding, droughts, and extreme weather? 

With limited resources to support response efforts, adequate communication systems are one of these areas’ most significant challenges. Because of this, these communities may not receive the same high-quality care as those in resource-dense, urban areas.

But mobile command centers act as a “pop-up network” that can be deployed virtually, bridging communication gaps and enabling first responders to provide high-quality care to rural communities. These centers ensure that any area, rural or otherwise, receives proper attention and support during emergencies, reducing the risks and dangers of natural disasters.

In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of mobile command centers and their importance in ensuring effective emergency response.


NYPD police mobile command center

Mobile Command Vehicles (MCVs) are a specific type of mobile command center strategically employed to enhance or restore communication and coordination amid emergency incidents and high-security situations across the country. These mobile command units utilize satellite and internet connectivity, interoperable radios, and video functionalities to enhance communication between FPS (Federal Protective Service) resources and various federal and local response and support units.

This critical technology is essential for frontline workers like police, firefighters, and public safety officials because it allows for rapid deployment.

Rapid deployment is vital in emergencies — because time is of the essence: Emergency responders and personnel need to quickly and efficiently deploy resources to the affected area to prevent further damage and save lives. The longer it takes for responders to arrive and set up their equipment and supplies, the greater the risk to individuals and the community.

Mobile command centers are equipped with advanced communication technologies, such as satellite and wireless systems, allowing quick and reliable communication with on-site teams and external organizations.


A graphic showing various professions that utilize mobile command centers

MCCs are crucial systems that all frontline community officials should utilize, including:

  • Emergency Responders: Fire departments, law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services (EMS), and search and rescue teams can benefit significantly from mobile command centers. These vehicles provide a centralized hub for coordinating response efforts during disasters, accidents, and large-scale emergencies.
  • Emergency Management Agencies: Local, state, and federal emergency management agencies use mobile command centers to manage and coordinate disaster response and recovery efforts. These centers are essential for establishing effective incident command during natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires.
  • Government Agencies: Various government agencies, including those responsible for public safety, homeland security, transportation, and public health, can benefit from mobile command centers to manage incidents and security operations efficiently.
  • Military: The military uses mobile command centers for rapid deployment and command and control during military operations, including exercises, peacekeeping missions, and responses to security threats.
  • Large-Scale Event Management: Organizations responsible for managing large-scale events, such as festivals, sporting events, or political gatherings, can use mobile command centers to enhance security, manage crowds, and respond to emergencies effectively.
  • Public Health Agencies: Public health agencies utilize mobile command centers during health emergencies, pandemics, and vaccination campaigns to coordinate response efforts, provide medical services, and communicate with the public.
  • Utilities and Critical Infrastructure Providers: Organizations responsible for critical infrastructure, like power companies and water utilities, may use mobile command centers to manage response and recovery efforts during infrastructure failures or cyberattacks.
  • Transportation Authorities: Transportation agencies use mobile command centers to manage highway, railway, and airport incidents. These centers help coordinate traffic management, accident response, and public safety efforts.
  • Corporate and Private Sector: Large corporations, particularly those with extensive facilities and operations, may deploy mobile command centers for crisis management, security, and business continuity planning.
  • Event Security and Private Security Firms: Event security providers and private security firms use mobile command centers to enhance security measures and respond to security incidents during events or security operations.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Nonprofit organizations involved in disaster relief, humanitarian aid, and community support can use mobile command centers to coordinate relief efforts during crises.
  • Research and Surveillance: Scientific research organizations and environmental agencies may use mobile command centers for field research, environmental monitoring, and data collection in remote or challenging environments.

A local mobile crime lab, bomb squad, or search and rescue unit likely also relies on MCCs to communicate with the proper departments and promptly pass on information or emergency assistance requests.


Man working in a mobile command center

Mobile command centers provide a centralized location for communication, coordination, and command. They are deployed in response to natural disasters and emergencies, such as:

  • Emergency response situations: Natural disasters, fires, or terrorist attacks
  • Significant events or gatherings: Concerts, festivals, or sporting events where coordination and communication between multiple agencies are needed
  • Law enforcement operations: SWAT team activities or hostage situations
  • Military operations: Field command centers for troops or aircraft control centers
  • Natural disaster recovery efforts: Providing medical support or coordinating relief efforts in affected areas
  • Mobile clinics or hospitals: Providing medical services in remote areas or disaster zones
  • Command centers for remote construction or engineering projects: Oil rig operations or mining sites

Reasons to Use a Mobile Command Center:

Whether your operations are located in a bustling metropolitan area with abundant technology resources or a quiet rural town with minimal activity, mobile command centers offer numerous advantages crucial for staying connected and well-prepared before disaster strikes.

Benefit #1: Enhances Rural Emergency Communication Capabilities

Emergency response teams encounter unique challenges in rural areas due to long distances, limited infrastructure, and constrained resources. Mobile command centers (MCCs) play a vital role in overcoming these challenges by enabling swift communication and coordination among various emergency personnel, including police departments and healthcare services. These MCCs establish a central location where rural emergency response teams can rapidly request assistance, backup, or supplies during natural disasters or power outages.

Benefit #2: Secures First Responder Communications

Mobile command centers empower first responders to maintain seamless communication with one another and their headquarters, even when traditional communication channels are disrupted or overwhelmed. For instance, the MCC Brute Advanced, designed for critical emergency services deployment, offers VPN functionality, 5G readiness, and support for up to 128 Wi-Fi connections. This high-speed networking capability in remote locations enhances reliability, security, and flexibility, effectively turning MCCs into portable networks capable of transmitting vast amounts of information for swift response and informed decision-making.

Benefit #3: Task-Specific Customization

Depending on the nature of the emergency, first responders may require specialized equipment to carry out their duties effectively. Mobile command centers can be tailored to transport specific equipment and supplies, such as medical gear, search and rescue tools, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) suits, or aerial surveillance drones. This customization ensures that MCCs are fully equipped to meet the unique needs of various emergency scenarios.

Investing in a mobile command center can enhance your organization’s preparedness and responsiveness to emergencies, ultimately contributing to the safety and well-being of your community.


A mobile command center used in firefighting by firefighters in Signes, France

The contents of a new mobile command vehicle can vary depending on the organization’s specific needs and the types of emergencies it is designed to respond to. Standard features and equipment found in most mobile command vehicles include communication equipment, workstations, storage space, restrooms, and surveillance equipment.

But emergency personnel and public safety officials can also use mobile command center handheld devices without needing an extra vehicle.

Portable MCCs are about the size of a briefcase and can be stored in police cruisers, ambulances, and fire trucks. They can be customized to equip communications systems, data collection and real-time sharing capabilities, mobile apps like databases and monitoring tools, and long battery life.


A new mobile command vehicle can cost anywhere from $200,000 to over $1 million. The cost can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of vehicle, equipment, technology, and any customization or special features.

However, portable mobile command centers are much less expensive: These portable devices can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on communication capabilities, data collection, durability, and customization.

They are incredibly beneficial for rural emergency response teams that may grapple with low funding that may put a large mobile command center vehicle out of budget. The good news is CSG’s portable and compact mobile command centers are a more inexpensive option for those seeking remote web-based access. 

Shop Connected Solution Group’s Mobile Command Center Collection

A Man Talks on the Phone. He's in a High-Tech Mobile Command Center.

Emergencies require immediate action, and having access to real-time information can be critical in saving lives and minimizing damage.

A mobile command center handheld device can be a valuable tool for emergency responders, providing them with access to vital information, communication tools, and resources in the palm of their hands. With this device, emergency personnel can respond quickly and efficiently to any crisis, providing the necessary aid and support to those in need.

Don’t wait for a disaster to strike before considering the benefits of a mobile command center handheld device. Our cutting-edge mobile command centers are designed to meet the most demanding challenges, ensuring seamless communication and coordination during critical operations. Whether you need a versatile mobile command center or a rugged deployable solution, we’ve got you covered. 

Explore our offerings and discover how our solutions can transform your emergency response capabilities. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to equip your team with the best tools available. Elevate your readiness and response with Connected Solutions Group! Contact CSG to learn more.


What is the difference between mobile command centers and mobile command vehicles?

Mobile Command Centers (MCCs) and Mobile Command Vehicles (MCVs) are vital assets in emergency response and crisis management, serving distinct roles. MCCs, often stationary trailers or buses, function as stable command hubs equipped with advanced communication technology, aiding long-term emergency coordination. In contrast, MCVs are highly mobile vehicles, swiftly deployed to incident scenes as command centers. They feature cutting-edge communication systems, like satellite connectivity and video conferencing, facilitating quick decision-making. This mobility sets MCVs apart, allowing them to respond rapidly to dynamic situations. MCCs and MCVs ensure efficient crisis communication, coordination, and response, enhancing public safety efforts.

Which public safety agencies use a mobile command vehicle?

Various public safety agencies use mobile command vehicles (MCVs) to improve their response capabilities and coordinate efforts during emergencies, significant events, and critical incidents.

These agencies include:

  • Law Enforcement: Police departments often deploy MCVs to the scene of major incidents, such as hostage situations, standoffs, large-scale protests, or major crime scenes. These vehicles serve as command posts for law enforcement personnel, providing communication, surveillance, and coordination capabilities.
  • Fire Departments: Fire departments use MCVs to manage firefighting efforts during complex incidents, such as wildfires, hazardous material spills, or large-scale urban fires. These vehicles facilitate incident command and coordination among firefighting teams.
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS): EMS agencies deploy MCVs during mass casualty incidents, natural disasters, or public health emergencies. These vehicles help coordinate medical response efforts, triage patients, and provide on-site treatment.
  • Emergency Management Agencies: Local, state, and federal emergency management agencies use MCVs to establish a centralized command and control hub during disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or floods. These vehicles support coordination, communication, and resource allocation.
  • Search and Rescue Teams: Search and rescue teams utilize MCVs when responding to missing person cases, wilderness emergencies, or natural disasters. These vehicles aid in managing search operations and serve as communication hubs in remote areas.
  • Homeland Security: Agencies responsible for homeland security, including federal, state, and local organizations, deploy MCVs for security operations, large-scale events, and disaster response. These vehicles play a crucial role in interagency coordination and communication.
  • Public Safety Communications: Agencies responsible for public safety communications may have dedicated MCVs to ensure uninterrupted communication during emergencies. These vehicles serve as mobile communication hubs, especially in areas with damaged infrastructure.
  • Tactical and SWAT Teams: Tactical and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams use MCVs during high-risk operations, providing a secure command post for incident commanders and tactical personnel.
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Agencies: Agencies responsible for transportation and critical infrastructure may deploy MCVs to manage incidents affecting transportation networks, such as highway accidents or major infrastructure failures.
  • Public Health Agencies: During public health emergencies, such as disease outbreaks or vaccination campaigns, public health agencies may use MCVs to coordinate response efforts, set up mobile vaccination clinics, and communicate with the public.

What is the mobile command and control post?

The mobile command and control post (MCP) is a highly adaptable and user-friendly system designed for command and control purposes, particularly in combat applications like the Combat Planning Officer (CPO) role. This advanced system is equipped with triple-head monitors, enabling the extension of the computer’s display and facilitating the simultaneous viewing of multiple applications.

The MCP’s triple-head monitors allow commanders and operators to efficiently manage various aspects of command and control, enhancing their situational awareness and decision-making. This system is well-suited for dynamic and rapidly evolving scenarios where quick access to critical information and the ability to monitor multiple applications simultaneously are essential.

The mobile command and control post (MCP) represents a valuable tool in modern military and combat environments, allowing for seamless coordination, communication, and data management in high-pressure situations.

What is an emergency command vehicle?

An emergency command vehicle, often called an Emergency Command Post (ECP) or Mobile Command Vehicle (MCV), is a specialized vehicle equipped to serve as a central command and coordination hub during emergencies, critical incidents, and large-scale events. Public safety agencies — such as law enforcement, fire departments, emergency management, and other first responders — typically use these vehicles.

What are the key features of a mobile command vehicle?

Here are the key features and functions of an emergency command vehicle:

  • Communication Hub: Emergency command vehicles are equipped with advanced communication systems, including radios, satellite communication, cellular connectivity, and data links. These systems ensure seamless communication with field personnel, other agencies, and headquarters, enabling efficient coordination of response efforts.
  • Command and Control Center: Inside the vehicle, there are workspaces with multiple workstations, large display screens, and communication equipment. Incident commanders and key personnel can use these facilities to oversee operations, make critical decisions, and manage resources.
  • Data and Information Management: The vehicles are often equipped with technology for data analysis, information sharing, and real-time data feeds. This enables access to maps, incident reports, surveillance footage, and other essential information.
  • Surveillance and Monitoring: Some emergency command vehicles feature external cameras, telescopic masts, and drones to provide a bird’s-eye view of the incident scene. This surveillance capability aids in situational awareness and response planning.
  • Power Generation: To ensure uninterrupted operation, these vehicles are equipped with power generators, allowing them to function independently of external power sources for extended periods.
  • Meeting and Briefing Space: Emergency command vehicles may have meeting areas where incident commanders can conduct briefings, share information with key stakeholders, and collaborate with other agencies involved in the response.
  • Weather and Environmental Monitoring: Some vehicles are equipped with weather stations and environmental monitoring tools to assess conditions that may affect response efforts, such as temperature, wind speed, and air quality.
  • Logistics and Equipment Storage: There is often ample storage space for emergency response equipment, such as medical supplies, personal protective gear, and communication gear. This ensures that essential resources are readily available on-site.
  • Mobility: Emergency command vehicles are designed to be mobile and can be driven to the scene of an incident or event. This mobility allows them to establish a command presence quickly and adapt to evolving situations.
  • Interagency Collaboration: These vehicles facilitate interagency collaboration by providing a centralized location for different agencies and organizations to work together seamlessly during emergencies or special events.

What is the difference between a police command center, an FBI command center, and a military command vehicle?

Beverly Hills Police Mobile Command CenterPolice Command Centers, FBI Command Centers, and Military Command Vehicles serve distinct roles within their respective organizations, each customized to meet specific mission requirements and operational objectives.

While police command centers, FBI command centers, and military command vehicles share a common goal of enhancing coordination and command capabilities, they exhibit significant variations in their missions, operational scopes, and levels of specialization. Police command centers cater to local law enforcement needs, FBI command centers address federal law enforcement and national security matters, and military command vehicles serve as versatile assets supporting a diverse range of military operations.

What are situations where a mobile command center is used?

Some common situations where mobile command centers are used include:

  • Natural Disasters: Mobile command centers are deployed during natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and severe storms. They serve as hubs for emergency management agencies to coordinate response efforts, assess damage, and assist affected communities.
  • Large-Scale Public Events: Mobile command centers are present at major public events, such as concerts, sporting events, parades, and festivals, to manage security, crowd control, and emergency response. They provide real-time communication and coordination among event organizers and first responders.
  • Mass Casualty Incidents: In situations involving mass casualties, such as transportation accidents, industrial accidents, or acts of terrorism, mobile command centers are used to establish incident command, coordinate medical response, and manage resources efficiently.
  • Law Enforcement Operations: Law enforcement agencies deploy mobile command centers to support operations like hostage situations, SWAT missions, standoffs, major crime scenes, and search and rescue efforts. These centers facilitate command, communication, and surveillance.
  • Wildfires and Forest Fires: In regions prone to wildfires, mobile command centers manage firefighting efforts, allocate resources, and coordinate response from multiple agencies, including fire departments, forestry services, and emergency management.
  • Military Operations: The military employs mobile command centers during various operations, including combat missions, peacekeeping missions, disaster relief, and humanitarian assistance efforts. These units enable commanders to maintain situational awareness and make strategic decisions.
  • Public Health Emergencies: During public health crises, such as pandemics or disease outbreaks, mobile command centers coordinate medical responses, distribute vaccines, and manage field hospitals and treatment centers.
  • Search and Rescue Missions: Mobile command centers support search and rescue teams in locating missing persons, hikers, and disaster survivors. They serve as communication hubs and provide incident command capabilities.
  • Transportation Incidents: Mobile command centers are dispatched to manage accidents and incidents on highways, railways, airports, and other transportation networks. They help coordinate response efforts, traffic management, and public safety measures.
  • Homeland Security Operations: In matters related to national security, mobile command centers assist agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and other federal, state, and local agencies in coordinating counterterrorism efforts, border security, and disaster response.
  • Large-Scale Exercises and Drills: Mobile command centers are used in training exercises and disaster drills to simulate and practice emergency responses, assess preparedness, and improve interagency coordination.
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection: Agencies responsible for critical infrastructure, such as power plants, water treatment facilities, and telecommunications, deploy mobile command centers to manage incidents, cyberattacks, and security breaches affecting these facilities.

Why can mobile command centers help rural areas?

Mobile command centers offer versatile solutions for rural areas, addressing their unique challenges effectively. Thanks to advanced technology like satellite connectivity, they ensure reliable communication, even in remote locations. These units excel at rapid deployment, reducing emergency response times significantly. Centralized coordination and resource management enhance efficiency in multi-agency scenarios. 

Additionally, they bridge healthcare gaps by providing immediate emergency medical services in underserved rural regions. They serve as efficient incident command posts during wildfires. Advanced technology aids search and rescue in rugged terrain, and they assist in managing critical infrastructure incidents. Mobile units engage with rural communities, fostering trust and enhancing disaster preparedness. Their flexibility allows for customization, making them adaptable to various rural challenges, from natural disasters to public health crises.

What Ted Lasso has reminded me about humans and leadership

I have a friend named Chris that runs a busy oil change shop.  He has been there since he was a young man and kind of worked his way up to it being his place.  Throughout most of his time there, he had a rescue mutt named Marley, a previously abused pup that his family had given a much better life.  She was a sweet dog who you kind of understood had a rough go of it before finding this new life, and appreciated her new lease.  Unfortunately, after becoming a wonderful part of his family, she developed cancer kind of unexpectedly and it was terminal.

We all knew that losing Marley would be tough on Chris, and when the time came it certainly was.  It was the first major loss of his life.  I remember talking to him a couple weeks after and he surprised me with pretty poignant thoughts on what it had taught him.  Perhaps first and foremost, he found himself dealing with aggravated or upset customers in a completely different fashion.  He said that as a young person he never would’ve stopped to consider why someone was in a foul mood, or why a customer was being unreasonable.

In his own grief for Marley, he found himself shorter with people than usual, and maybe even quicker to get agitated for a few days.  He was hurting and it was tough to bury.  He told me from that point on, he was going to give people the benefit of the doubt and essentially assume they had any number of life’s challenges influencing their behavior.  In his line of work, he would have a steady parade of all walks of life come through in all kinds of moods and dispositions.  Instead of responding to the agitated ones with agitation, he was going to kill them with kindness.  How could he ever know what that person is going through on that year, that month, that day?  

marley dog

This simple lesson reverberates throughout Ted Lasso’s two seasons, as an American football coach is hired to run a British Premiere League soccer franchise – without even knowing the rules of the game.  The plot is hatched by the vindictive and recently divorced owner who wants her ex-husband to suffer the only way she knows how.  Making his beloved football club a laughing stock of the league.  What she doesn’t know is Coach Lasso is the type of man that endears himself to those around him almost instantly and has a very firm understanding of what Chris learned after the passing of Marley.  Human behavior, dramatically more often than not, isn’t random.  Whether we are inherently good, or inherently bad, or most certainly some version of both – the way we act out and express our inner  turmoil or desires or demons can likely be traced to a root cause.  I don’t want to spoil this wonderful show for any of you, but if you watch it, look for how Ted addresses problems with his players – and he doesn’t really need to know the game to do so.  In almost every conversation he has, despite being goofy and sarcastic and overly positive, he is looking to understand what makes the person tick. If there is conflict, he is trying to understand the perspective of the player going through the turmoil – and what brought us to it. 

By learning these things, by being ever vigilant and aware of causation and the circumstances that pre-dated a human problem, you can address it and the player at the real core of the issue, and often without them even knowing you are doing it.  Any other resolution is fools good, you have likely slapped a coat of paint on an issue that will become a problem once again. 

I never forgot that conversation with Chris, because admittedly he was ahead of the ball on me at that time.  I remember thinking, he’s absolutely right.. and I swear to this day and sometimes much to my wife’s chagrin I simply don’t honk or really react any way towards a driver that swerves in my lane or cuts me off, at least if the risk of a crash is over and done with.   I don’t have the faintest clue what’s happening in that car, but what I can tell you is most likely he or she is not a horrible human and there’s a real good chance I get distracted and do the same to someone tomorrow.  What is the honk accomplishing if the threat of a crash is over?  Before that conversation with Chris, I felt the need to let that person know I was angry and I was calling them all kinds of names in my head.  I was a mild road-rager until he helped me gain a little perspective.   

Ted Lasso made me think of Chris and Marley and every time someone on my team is flabbergasted by someone else’s actions at work.  Have you considered how we got here?  Why did this happen and can we address that real root of the problem?  Is it more likely that it was an honest mistake, or just a poor decision, or something that has deeper root cause for us to address – as opposed to the colleague just being a bad person or bad at their job. 

Back to Ted Lasso.  I’ve changed my mind.  I do have one pretty obvious spoiler.  Ted turns the team around, not knowing anything about soccer, but taking the time to know a lot about humans.  In today’s world, where mental fragility is at an all-time high, this is how you enact change as a leader.  Maybe you can’t always give the employee the benefit of the doubt, you can’t always just kill them with kindness like Chris did with customers at his shop.  But like Ted Lasso in the show,  you can  be empathetic to the human and just maybe you will uncover something that makes the colleague and your team much better in long run.

My Obsession With Authenticity as a Business Owner & Human

I have 8-year-old twin boys at home, fraternal and frankly unlike each other in almost every way physically and behaviorally.  When they have differences in opinions, or tastes, or can’t see eye to eye on what to “play” this afternoon, I’m famous for reminding them – “If we were all the same, what a boring world this would be.”  

In the business world, perhaps more specifically in the B2B and IT landscapes, sometimes there seems to be this relentless pursuit of following a certain decorum – veiled under perceived professionalism.  Almost a fear of standing out.  Now I don’t think any marketing department would admit that, but I think at the very least they would recognize they go out of their way to not ruffle feathers, to be clean and concise, and to generally appease everyone with content that is overwhelmingly adverse to raising eyebrows.

obsession with authenticity

When I launched my business, I remember aggressively utilizing social media platforms to market kind of what we were going to be about and even the partner programs we are a part of.  I was told only a couple of months into it that some of my competition wasn’t thrilled that I was creating such visibility on to programs they were profiting from, perhaps inviting others to invade the space.  I swear I remember hanging up the phone and thinking – well, that makes sense..  there is nothing they do that can potentially stand out against anyone that enters the space.  They are quite comfortable winning the business by default.  

 It was a combination of that initial “feedback” I received, combined with a sort-of personal awakening in my late 30’s, that I decided I  wasn’t going to do what everyone else does.  I am a passionate man, I believe in what we are doing, and I believe we are the best option for our clients and partners.  I am not going to shy away from putting myself out there, from speaking candidly, from pulling back the curtains so the world can see who we truly are.  If it means you get information you can attempt to utilize against us or in your own way, by all means.  Have it.  Competition brings out the best in us.  I welcome it.

 As the years went on, partners and colleagues began to find my personal social media platforms.  Candidly, and if you are seeing this you may know this,  I am a pretty active social media user.  For a period of time, I was super hesitant to accept requests from customers and partners.  I had a decision to make, and I legitimately remember pondering this.

  1. Do not accept them at all, just keep personal social media strictly personal 
  2. Accept them and be ultra-careful about content – or
  3. Accept them and don’t change a thing about your content – just be you.

mike with family

I went with #3 for a simple reason.  I am trying to create legitimate and real relationships with these people, and it’s not an act.  So why wouldn’t I just be myself?  Over time hundreds of partners and colleagues have connected with me personally on-line, and I have never altered my content because of it.  I don’t edit myself, I don’t hide my personal beliefs, I certainly don’t stage content for a certain audience.  My friends, my family, my business partners, my employees, my customers – they all see the same version of me, which is not someone who is going to stand to the side and regurgitate the same talking points.

At the end of the day, understanding who I am and what I am about helps you gauge what I have built my business to be.  Authenticity is in the fabric of our company culture, as I almost obsessively encourage our teammates to be exactly who they are when they walk through our doors.  With this transparency, we run the risk of maybe not being everyone’s cup of tea.  We run the risk of raising eyebrows when we wear our hearts on our sleeves.  That’s ok, that’s something I can live with.  I hope much more often than not, you see the true passion and determination we have to make our clients happy – and to create a work culture that emulates a lifestyle of living with zest and passion.  I hope you want to do business with us because you feel the authenticity, because you genuinely feel like we want to do right by you.  Because we do.  

We may be a little more active, a little more “open book”, a little more public than most in our space.  I may blur the lines with a personal social media post about music or sports or family or something off the wall that I felt compelled to share.  I love and embrace that we are different.  Just like I encourage my twin boys to embrace their differences.

After all, if we were all the same, what a boring world this would be.

150 employees.  What it means. 

I admit, I watch the employee count pretty closely.  Not because it’s really any great indicator of success or growth, but because I take the responsibility of being an employer very seriously.  When we approve hires, when we tell someone we would like you to come earn your livelihood here at our organization, I immediately feel a responsibility towards that individual. Not just to make sure their paycheck gets cut every other week. I feel a responsibility for much more.

That will likely read as bullshit to someone. Maybe many of you. Maybe it seems like owner fluff or good ole’ coach speak. It isn’t.  Every milestone we hit, 20, 50, 100, and now 150.  I do kind of take a moment to let it sink in. 150 souls that we depend on every day to move us forward.  150 souls that feed their family on our mission. 150 souls that are part of something bigger than themselves.

In truth, I do feel extremely responsible for their well-being.  Their happiness. They spend more waking hours on weekdays working than they do with their own families in most circumstances. If their experience at work is miserable, then they go home to those they love with negativity and resentment. That is a REAL responsibility. If they do not feel motivated or like they have a legitimate opportunity to further themselves and their families, they will become complacent and their work will suffer. Their livelihood could be at risk. That is a REAL responsibility.  Younger people, entry level positions, they need to understand how employers will expect them to work and behave.  Whether they work at CSG for 10 years or two months, we can only further them by educating them while treating them fairly.  That is a REAL responsibility.  Life will continue to deal these human beings cards that are very hard to play. There will be things happening in their personal lives that can dramatically impact their work. We must never turn our back or give up on someone in a rut. We must do whatever we can to help them move forward. That is REAL responsibility.

Frankly, I do take their personal lives quite personally. I had bosses that helped me when I was in financial situations early in my career. It was a big deal to me. I had bosses that did not care when I had major things happening in my personal life, and frankly just expected production levels no matter the circumstances. That was also a big deal to me. What’s crazy, and why it’s an easy decision, is I am in position to help when people need it BECAUSE of the people who need it. So yes, I almost obsessively insist that I am aware of what is needed in times of personal crisis.

Look, despite every attempt I make to provide a positive experience and help those that I can, we screw up all the time.  The job is really hard.  We are stupid busy, and frankly quite often my people have to take the weight of an upset customer due to where we kind of fit in the relationships we work with our partners. Often,  despite our growth, we get super overwhelmed without a lot of notice and we are put under a lot of pressure. This is not an easy place to work, stress is a very real thing, and no matter our intentions things get overlooked, people get treated unfairly, and management has to work to resolve many situations with our employees.  We are so far from perfect we do not have a magic wand.

But I think, or at least I hope, our 150 people know that we want nothing more than to do right by them.  That we want their lives to be better because they work at our organization. The day that money becomes more important than that, is the day that this entire thing falls apart.  If you are looking for a job that draws a super defined line between work / home life balance, truthfully, this isn’t the place for you. And I get it. I’m not for everyone. Those that want to embrace a community of humans that is bigger than the product we produce, come help get us to 200.

At the end of the day, I swear the number I am most proud of has nothing to do with growth, revenue, profit, salary. We have an absurd employee retention rate. People that come here stay here. I think that means that to some level what I am attempting to do here is appreciated by the people that matter most. That means more to me than anything.