What your momma never told you


What your momma never told you

Whether you are considering the latest features of a new cellphone or exasperated with challenges associated with enrollment in a nationalized health program, the impact of technology in all we do is profound.
Kindergarten children today begin their day by signing on to iPads. College students take their tests in virtual test rooms without leaving the confines of their homes. Bank customers deposit checks into their accounts by simply sending an image captured on their smartphones.
Is the George Jetson car-in-the-briefcase far behind?   
The parking and revenue control industry is not immune to the technology dynamo. Every trade magazine and industry exhibition touts the benefits associated with the implementation of “technology” – almost to the point of creating a feeling of professional inadequacy if you don’t have the latest and greatest.
But exactly what is technology? Is it a piece of software that I load from a CD? Is it a new widget I bolt onto my meter? Is it a new gizmo I hang on the ceiling? How much does it cost? Does it work? Do I need it? Does Billy-Bob across town have it? Will it help me grow more hair?
Trying to adequately understand new technology and realistically determine if there is a viable fit with your business model is like trying to take a sip of water out of a fire hose. Far too often there is a litany of technical information, anecdotal commentary, opinion, scrubbed statistics and folklore that we all must wade through before we get to the facts pertaining to the implementation and ultimate results regarding the deployment of new technology.
This year at the Parking Industry Exhibition (PIE), we will discuss and critique technology in a non-marketing, product-neutral, unbiased format. The four-hour Technology Camp, scheduled for March 16, will consider the following topics:
“Cloud” Computing – is it the panacea of things to come or what you see before the storm hits?
Network Design – is it a lifeline often overlooked in the implementation of new technologies?
Payment Processing – what do you have now and what do you need?
Wayfinding – do you need your own “yellow brick road?”
License Plate Technology – is it time to take the leap?
The PIE 2014 Tech Camp sessions are designed in a typical classroom environment with subject matter presentations, with the expectation of open dialog and discussion.
We will include examples associated with each item listed above, inclusive of information concerning both successful and unsuccessful endeavors. The discussions are not meant to vilify any particular vendor or product, but rather to illustrate analysis, practices, expectations, planning and operations that lend themselves to successful and effective technological implementations.
While the specter of new technology is daunting, our goal is simple – create a more educated consumer. You have to recognize your responsibility in the process and the importance of evaluating your needs and business practices before giving any consideration to new technology.
We are not implying that, at the end of PIE 2014 Tech Camp, you will know all the answers; just be aware and ask all the questions!
Please join us for what promises to be an educational and
spirited session.

(PIE 2014 will be March 16-19 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL. For more information and to register, go to www.parkingtoday.com/pie.)

Tom Wunk, Vice President of PARCS solutions for T2 Systems, is a Certified Administrator of Public Parking (CAPP). In the parking control industry since 1973, he has designed and implemented parking control solutions all over the world. Wunk also has developed and provided consultative and operational training presentations for the IPI, ASIS and the AAAE.

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Tom Wunk
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