Crisis communication

BlackBerry expands crisis communications services

To help federal managers communicate with their teams during an emergency, BlackBerry announced additional capabilities for its AtHoc crisis communication solution, which automates safety and availability status updates of people before, during and after an event.

The new AtHoc Account combines input from managers regarding their teams, information from call center operators, data feeds from human resource departments and travel systems as well as self-reporting from individuals, making it easier for managers to account for and communicate with their teams.

“Accountability today is a manual process that is quite inefficient,” AtHoc General Manager Sanjay Saini said.  “We are introducing AtHoc Account to provide real-time capability for organizations to be able to inform all of the necessary people so real-time decisions can be made.”

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The BlackBerry AtHoc cloud service was authorized by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program at the moderate impact level in March. Besides AtHoc Account, the service includes AtHoc Alert, which allows for multichannel, bi-directional mass notifications via secure mobile apps and other mass notification channels, and AtHoc Connect, which allows agencies to more easily communicate with each other during crisis.

The new AtHoc Account combines input for managers making it easier to account for and communicate with their teams.

The Department of Energy, Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration are currently using the AtHoc Alert service for notifications via BlackBerry’s private cloud platform. They are using a hybrid implementation model where the AtHoc SaaS platform runs behind their firewalls on premise.

More than 70 percent of federal government personnel are currently using AtHoc services in some capacity, including Department of the Treasury, Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Coast Guard.

BlackBerry’s AtHoc services are part of the company’s evolution from a government mobile phone provider to become a software-focused enterprise company.

Source: GCN

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