IBM and Cisco Team to Offer Crisis Management Services

Press release from IBM and CISCO:

WASHINGTON, DC – 20 Mar 2007: IBM (NYSE: IBM), a global leader in business continuity and resiliency services and Cisco, a global leader in networking, today announced they will partner to provide emergency crisis response capabilities for the first time as an end-to-end managed service. The new IBM Crisis Management Services for Crisis Response service combines advanced communications, collaboration and coordination technologies, satellite and wireless capabilities and broad experience from both companies to help businesses, governments and first responder organizations prepare, respond and rapidly recover from disruptive events and challenging environments.

The introduction of a managed service for crisis response marks a turning point in the growing area of Business Continuity and Resiliency Services, where vendors focus on helping clients maintain continuous access to their enterprise information and critical business processes during emergency situations. Traditionally, an organization is forced to choose from an array of product-based point solutions for crisis response, only to be challenged by the need to integrate disparate components. The IBM and Cisco solution packages hardware, software, services and satellite-based capabilities as one service, offering clients a one-stop emergency response communications network. The solution is designed to integrate into a client’s daily operational fabric to act as a network communications and information hub during times of disruption.

The new Crisis Management Services for Crisis Response from IBM and Cisco offers open, modular, wireless and standards-based commercial platforms that address key aspects of a catastrophic or disruptive event, while preserving the integrity and security of infrastructure. Specifically, it is designed to provide:

  • Continuity of operations
  • Network operability and recovery
  • Internet Protocol (IP) based interoperable communications
  • Secure cross-organization and domain information sharing capabilities
  • Incident management and decision support tools
  • Tactical operations, command and control platforms
  • Adaptive infrastructure based on leading middleware

The service begins with a requirements gathering and assessment phase. Next, is a rapid solution process based on resilient, repeatable, modular building-blocks. Key components of the service are multiple, automated, intelligent-response management platforms that are enabled by a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). All can be rapidly deployed to help restore operations in the event of a crisis. Platforms available today include:

  • A tactical communications kit (TCK) — a suitcase-size kit designed for rapid deployment that can be forward positioned
  • A fixed or easily transported fog cutter device (FC) — a server-rack-size module that is highly flexible and delivers deployed, scalable core and extended voice, data and video interoperability to any area
  • A network emergency response vehicle (NERV I) — a sport utility vehicle providing a medium-scale network, communications and information-based services
  • A command network emergency response vehicle (NERV III) — a six-wheel truck that delivers a large-scale network, communications and information-based services

Each platform consists of commercial, off-the-shelf hardware and software from IBM, Cisco and other vendors. These platforms have been specifically designed to allow customers to leverage their existing assets, devices and investments.

With combined experience in more than 70 major worldwide catastrophic events in 49 countries, IBM and Cisco provide clients an unmatched portfolio of technology, services and know-how to support business continuity and resiliency in the event of a crisis of any magnitude.

“Businesses and governments operating in today’s environment require capabilities across all three phases of crisis: readiness, response and recovery,” said Philippe Jarre, vice president, IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services. “This exciting new relationship with Cisco represents the state-of-the-art approach in helping our clients protect and improve their business operations by providing the industry’s only true end-to-end crisis response solution.”

“Organizations face a growing number of threats from natural and man-made disasters or disruptive events that have costly, far-reaching impact,” said Joe Pinto, senior vice president of technical services for Cisco. “To make matters worse, in the immediate aftermath of such an event, reliable and secure communications networks are overloaded, damaged or destroyed, impeding an organization’s ability to rapidly respond, collaborate and coordinate relief efforts. Cisco and IBM have created this service to dramatically change this response and recovery capability from being an afterthought to an essential business imperative that will greatly enhance recovery efforts.”

IBM and Cisco announced the IBM Crisis Management Services for Crisis Response today at FOSE, the Federal Office Systems Exposition in Washington, D.C. It is available immediately and is part of a comprehensive portfolio of offerings from IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services.

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