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How BlackBerry AtHoc Is Helping Organizations in Australia and New Zealand Keep Their People Safe In A Crisis

Melbourne is Australia’s second-largest city and a famous hub of culture and sports which attracts millions of tourists each year. In the past 12 months, the City has also been impacted by a number of incidents that have put the safety of people at risk. In New Zealand, after yet another major earthquake in 2016, organizations are also showing increasing concern about the safety of staff, citizens and business continuity, and taking proactive steps to lessen the impact on their people and operations.

Paul Crighton, VP BlackBerry, Asia Pacific and Japan; Allan Briggs, Managing Director of Briggs Communications and Ly Tran, SVP, BlackBerry AtHoc, together announced ‘The Melbourne Shield’ initiative in Australia two weeks ago.

Incidents in urban, built-up areas or natural disasters over large geographies continue to put crisis management and people safety high on the agenda for governments and private companies. It also highlights an important need. That is, the ability for an organization to communicate with, and account for, the people they are responsible for.

To answer that need in Melbourne, BlackBerry and crisis management specialist Briggs Communications, partnered to launch a new initiative called ‘The Melbourne Shield’ on June 8th. Myself, Ly Tran, SVP, BlackBerry AtHoc, and Allan Briggs, Managing Director of Briggs Communication, co-hosted an event which was attended by security leaders responsible for people safety at large venues in Melbourne, such as stadiums, hospitals, casinos and entertainment centres.

With BlackBerry AtHoc as the foundation, our leading crisis communication solution, the aim of ‘The Melbourne Shield’ is to create a secured, encrypted network between trusted leaders who can share information with each other within minutes of an emergency; helping to inform decisions about what to do to keep people safe. Imagine an office tower is on fire or there is a terrorist threat in the building. Using the Melbourne Shield, the facilities or security manager of that building can immediately share information with a trusted network of decision-makers, including surrounding businesses that might be impacted. Those members of the Melbourne Shield can then make a quick decision about whether to lock-down or evacuate their premises, based on credible and timely information.

While most organizations in Melbourne have emergency alert systems in place, many of those systems are not connected to each other and often, companies are not able to have that two-way accountability with their staff. Each operates solely within the walls of the business or organization that deployed it. Because of this, a well-coordinated response can be extremely challenging, which leads to wasted minutes in situations where every second counts.

The Melbourne Shield is a pilot program. Any large Melbourne organisation with an obligation to protect their people is invited to find out more here

Guests from some of Melbourne’s leading organisations gather together to hear how they can help to protect their staff and citizens on one secure platform: BlackBerry AtHoc.

Three More Organizations That Swear by BlackBerry AtHoc

Australia and New Zealand enterprises are known for technology innovation and BlackBerry is proud to serve them. Last year we announced several new AtHoc customers in the region – including Macquarie University, which deployed BlackBerry AtHoc to help ensure the safety and security of staff, students and visitors to campus.

“As [AtHoc] operates in real-time, the efficiency of our emergency messaging has improved enormously,” Macquarie’s Property Security Manager John Durbridge explained in a recent interview with CIO Australia. “We are able to send multiple messages, thus ensuring that our stakeholders are kept well informed about the situation, and also any instructions being issued by our emergency management response to aid in the stakeholder’s safety.”

As reported in CIO.NZ, the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has also just announced it has deployed BlackBerry AtHoc to help ensure business continuity and protect the safety of its customers following major earthquakes in the country. As one of the country’s largest financial institutions, BNZ is responsible for millions of dollars in daily customer transactions. Security is paramount – and these huge natural disasters have the potential to put lives at risk and interrupt business operations.

“As a leading financial institution, the Bank of New Zealand puts its employees and customers first,” explains Katrina Maxwell, Executive Manager for Bank of New Zealand Markets. “We want to make sure that [if something happens, we are] ready to alert our people around the country, account for where they are and have a system in place for business continuity. BlackBerry AtHoc meets our guidelines for real-time incident management and is an encrypted, secured, impenetrable platform that ensures the confidentiality of our data.”

Allan Briggs, MD of BlackBerry’s partner, Briggs Communications and Ly Tran, SVP BlackBerry AtHoc, answer audience questions on how The Melbourne Shield will help keep their people safe.

To support the growing demand for crisis management solutions, BlackBerry has also announced key partners including Briggs Communications in Australia, Mobile Mentor in New Zealand and leading Australian carrier, Optus Business.  As reported in CRN and Channel Life, this expands BlackBerry’s software footprint and partner network and shows continued momentum in the company’s transition to be a leader in enterprise security.

“This signals further growth in BlackBerry’s partner network, and ongoing momentum in the company’s transformation into a leader in software security,” notes Australian Security Magazine, “BlackBerry AtHoc is used around the world by thousands of organizations with a duty of care for people like universities, hospitals, banks, large corporations and government entities, including the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Treasury.”

Securing, Connecting, and Protecting the World

Enterprise technology is constantly changing. With the Enterprise of Things just around the corner, cybersecurity is now more important than ever. Businesses need the capacity to secure, connect, and protect massive networks of people and devices – and BlackBerry provides just that, for Australia, New Zealand and the entire world.

From natural disasters and cloud outages, to terrorist and cyber-attacks, there have been numerous incidents in Australia and New Zealand that continue to challenge the way organizations and departments maintain operations and keep people safe.  We are pleased to see companies like Bank of New Zealand and Macquarie University lead by example, plus the huge demand for BlackBerry enterprise software in the channel which will be supported by our new partners, all of which help us to make companies and their people in Australia and New Zealand, BlackBerry Secure.

Paul Crighton

About Paul Crighton

Paul Crighton is the Vice President of Sales for Asia-Pacific and Japan at BlackBerry.