New products and services

BlackBerry has announced that AtHoc, a division of BlackBerry, has released a new version of its crisis communications platform. New capabilities give AtHoc customers additional pre-planning resources and automated processing of crisis communication activities , to help resolve critical incidents with less manual intervention and fewer improvised, on-the-spot decisions. It also assists staff members in preparing for a wider range of emergency scenarios more easily, and in responding to crises faster with fully-automated business rules, outreach, and response.

"Critical events are inherently complex, and our customers have been asking for faster and more efficient ways to manage their crisis communications," said Joseph Ng, Senior Director of Marketing and Strategy at AtHoc. "They want to be able to customize their workflow so that users understand the nature of threats sooner, and alerts are escalated faster. It's all about business continuity and resilience, and we are proud to address those needs directly with this new release from AtHoc."

Enhancements include:

  • Real-Time Alert Rules. Enables users to create rules for forwarding alerts received from external organizations and sources. It also helps operators to predefine response processes on common incident types.
  • Automated Staff Mustering. A new fill count capability automatically contacts a roster of staff members who possess the right skills and training until the required number of people has been reached, and acknowledged their assignments. At that point, the system stops seeking additional respondents, freeing up resources and personnel for other priorities.
  • Management Alerting. Pre-configured escalation rules that automatically alert supervisors when line staff cannot be reached, or decline an assignment for some reason. This enables managers to analyze an issue, and communicate the situation up the chain, requesting assistance from senior individuals.
  • Severity-Codified Notifications. Easy-to-use templates enable organizations to designate the level of severity when setting up and issuing an alert. The look and feel of the alert will automatically correspond to the seriousness of the situation. Supervisors can receive emails with familiar red headers at the beginning of the crisis, to denote extreme urgency, in addition to any other forms of contact. The personnel contacted during the fill count can also receive supplementary emails with the red headers. However, people told to wait and be available for later shifts will receive companion emails with orange or yellow headers, indicating a lower level of urgency.

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