SOURCE: AtHoc

AtHoc

August 18, 2010 08:31 ET

AtHoc Announces Support for Emergency Mass Notifications Using Social Networks

Innovative AtHoc IWSAlerts Technology Can Send Emergency Alerts and Critical Information via Facebook, Twitter and Other Social Networks

SAN MATEO, CA--(Marketwire - August 18, 2010) - AtHoc, Inc., the pioneer and leader in network-centric emergency mass notification systems, today announced that its AtHoc IWSAlerts™ mass notification solution now has the capability to monitor and send alerts through popular social networking channels. This innovative capability increases AtHoc IWSAlerts' effectiveness as a pervasive mass notification solution by leveraging the newest media channels. 

The new capability allows recipients to receive emergency notifications over social networks from their trusted organizations. Upon publishing an alert, the operator is able to select the social network to which the alert would be delivered. All users who are members of the appropriate network then would receive the alert. For example, using AtHoc, a university's emergency manager may publish an emergency alert to the university's Twitter or Facebook account; all students who are following the university's tweets or who are connected to the university via Facebook will receive the alert via their self-designated method (text message, e-mail or web). 

Benefits of incorporating social networking in mass notification include:

  • Widespread use of social network channels by millions of people
  • Leverage resources that may already be used by the organization but currently handled separately
  • Achieve a consistent messaging with all other delivery channels supported by AtHoc
  • Single activation
  • Address extended audience such as family members of direct audience (students, military personnel)
  • Simplify publishing and integrate into internal notification process/approval
  • Implement in a secure and authenticated manner

As the pioneer and leader in network-centric mass notification, complementing AtHoc's existing IP-based alert delivery methods with social networks is a natural extension of AtHoc's capabilities.

Social networks have undergone explosive growth during the last several years. Penetration and adoption in areas such as higher education and recently the Department of Defense demand that they be incorporated in any mass alerting system. The after-action report on the Fort Hood shooting specifically cited the need to exploit social networks for reaching all personnel, including family members and dependents, during an emergency. The presidential report on the response to pandemics also noted the importance of being able to exploit social networks as a communications channel when the timely dissemination of information is required.

"For a university population such as ours that relies heavily on social networking to communicate all types of information, this type of capability is extremely valuable," said David Burns, Emergency Manager for University of California, Los Angeles. "Since social networks are so pervasive, it makes perfect sense to incorporate them into a mass alerting system as another channel to receive and communicate critical information as an emergency event unfolds."

"Multiple and redundant alerting channels ensure maximum reach in the event of an emergency and go far in achieving effective force protection," said (Ret.) Air Force Col. Andy Anderson, Vice President of Operations, Defense Sector, for AtHoc. "Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter continue to grow in popularity. Integrating them as alerting channels makes AtHoc IWSAlerts even more effective in its ability to reach individuals quickly. Leveraging these existing channels adds additional value to mass notification systems without added costs."

This new alert delivery method complements AtHoc's existing capability to transform an existing IP-network into an emergency notification system and send redundant and consistent messages to any IP-enabled channels, including phones (soft, VoIP, landline, cell), text, e-mail, instant messengers, audio/visual desktop pop-up notification as well as traditional one-way notification channels such as sirens/PA systems, pagers, digital displays, television, radios and pagers.

About AtHoc
AtHoc is the pioneer and recognized leader in providing network-centric emergency mass notification systems to military, homeland security, government and commercial organizations. AtHoc's products are used for physical security, force protection, personnel accountability, recall and regulatory compliance. Millions of end-users worldwide, in organizations such as the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, NASA, UCLA, Microsoft, Boeing and Raytheon rely on AtHoc's unified notification systems for their emergency alerting and critical communication needs. AtHoc has partnered with market leaders including Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Harris, Siemens, Northrop Grumman, MIR3, Lockheed Martin and others to bring these notification solutions to the public and commercial markets.

For more information on AtHoc, please visit http://www.athoc.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jane Bryant
    Spire Communications
    (703) 406-8626
    Email Contact