Reverse E911 to the Rescue

Drew Martin, Sony Electronics CIO, recently talked about his experience during the October wildfires that threatened the company’s San Diego area HQ and data center (the building only sustained minor damage). One of his takeaways from his experience was that he wished he had a reverse-911 system in place, much the way his local school district was able to communicate school closures to all parents.

I hadn’t heard the term reverse-911 before, but it’s very much of a class of applications that can be communications enabled to speed up processes.

Reaching out to all employees during a natural disaster is hopefully a once in a blue moon scenario, but what about reaching out to emergency response teams and directing those that are closest to the emergency and have the requisite skills and equipment to deal with it in the most effective fashion? In a hospital environment, code reds happen relatively frequently.

With the proliferation of devices and communications modes (telephony, IM, email) and introduction of location tracking capabilities and presence, notification services can become much richer and more intelligent than ‘brute-force’ telephony-centric reverse-911 systems today.

A key enabling technology is a SOA-based communications enablement framework, such as Nortel’s recently announced Agile Communications Environment which in its first substantiation is based on IBM’s Websphere, which can interoperate with multiple vendors’ communications systems across enterprise and carrier environments.

Notification is but one important class of communications-enabled applications. Do you have a plan in place to accelerate your business?

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