Transitioning to the Cloud: How Amtrak Keeps Personnel Informed

With 500 officers at more than 30 locations across 46 states, the Amtrak Police Department is responsible for conducting a range of front line and behind-the-scenes security measures to ensure employees, passengers, and America’s rail infrastructure are safety and security. The Amtrak Police Department is also essential during special events, including the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, NATO and G8 summits, Presidential Inaugurations, and large scale sporting events.

During HxGN LIVE, I had the pleasure of hearing Ann Pressman, police business liaison, Amtrak Police Department, and Patrick Butler, principal technologist, Amtrak Police Department, discuss how the agency is transitioning its records management system to the cloud. Here are a few highlights from Pressman and Butler’s session.

Why Consider the Cloud?
With police officers covering an expansive railway in the U.S., Amtrak has a large amount of technical resources across the country. Those hundreds of remote employees need easy and effective access and use of systems and technology, which creates complicated user administration and management. Using cloud-based applications makes work easier for users and administrators.

From Resisting to Embracing the Cloud
With most new technology implementations, there’s resistance to the change and adoption issues. Given the daily stream of news regarding cyber security and hacking, it is easy to understand how people – especially those in public safety – could be resistant. Other concerns for Amtrak Police Department included the need for physical accessibility, scalability, performance, data ownership, and assurance of data residency. As part of their cloud deployment, Amtrak found a vendor that ensured its data centers were located in the U.S., complaint with CJIS requirements, encrypted its database, provided virtual access, and the gave the agency the ability to grow.

Advantages of the Cloud
Cloud-based records management offers Amtrak’s officers many benefits, including the ability to operate from anywhere — in their police car, on the train, or walking around a station. From a technical perspective, Amtrak benefits from flexibility of architecture, time to deliver and configure environments, ease of infrastructure and solution administration, and realization of cost and performance improvements.

Interested in putting your records management system in the cloud? Check out our Intergraph InPursuit WebRMS video.

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