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Gill Blog

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Emergency Management Software for Your BlackBerry

After maintaining a fairly regular business blog for several months, it's always interesting to go back into the archives. Not only does this give me the chance to see how well I have maintained a consistent theme, but gives me the ability to look back at see how circumstances might have inspired a particular piece. One of the more interesting blogs came in the midst of the great blackout last year. Although I was literally in the dark, this amazing little gizmo called the RIM BlackBerry allowed me to post an entry to my site.

My experiences on that day were by no means unique. In fact, the BlackBerry has proven itself time and again as not only being a tool that enhances mobile business communications, but increasingly shows its worth as an indespensible tool in disaster managment. The first time the device was put to the test was on September 11. The following article from CIO Insight provides and example of how this was used (the quote is attributed to Jonathan Beyman, CIO of Lehman Brothers):
"My office was in One World Trade Center, the 40th floor. I can't get anybody on the phone. Everybody there was heading toward the stairwells. I couldn't get anybody on mobile phones, either. Blackberries were working, so we started getting e-mails."
In the two and a half years that have passed, the device has become even more flexible, and now companies are developing new disaster management applications that are specifically tailored to the BlackBerry. This past Thursday, I attended a monthly meeting of business continuity professionals, where I met Gary Bauer, the CEO of Wallace Wireless Inc. Gary gave a great presentation to the group about a new product they have developed called the Wallace Incident Communicator (WIC). This is a particularly timely application, especially for business continuity professionals, as it provides users with an entire range of applications that would prove particularly useful during an emergency. Some of these include document storage, map storage, secure corporate chat and an incident communicator.

When addressing the mobile communication aspect of your business continuity plan, it is important that applications such as WIC be given careful attention.


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