VirtualAgility to Host Blue-Ribbon Panel on Crisis Management

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Experts will discuss risk mitigation strategies for public agencies and private enterprises

As natural catastrophes around the world have demonstrated, risks and the consequences of crisis are unavoidable. How vulnerable are private businesses to natural and man-made crises? What’s the best way to evaluate risk management solutions? How can technology help an organization prepare in order to reduce the impact of an unavoidable catastrophe?

VirtualAgility is bringing together a panel of international experts to answer these and other questions for public and private sector executives on April 28th at the IBM Innovation Center (IIC) in Waltham, MA.

General Dennis Reimer (USA, Ret.) is a former Army Chief of Staff, the first Director of the National Memorial Institute of Terrorism, and a consultant to corporations and government.

Michael Blyth is an expert in identifying threats to businesses and governments, and author of Business Continuity Management: Building an Effective Incident Management Plan, and Risk and Security Management: Protecting People and Sites Worldwide.

Ron Castleman, is former Chief Operating Officer of FEMA and an authority on developing action plans for critical areas such as sheltering, search and rescue, essential services restoration, and medical care.

Michael V. Kay, is VP of IAEM (International Association of Emergency Managers) Europa region, and an expert on international Crisis Management networks and initiatives.

Carol Stafford, VP, IBM, works with major corporations around the world on issues related to global Business Continuity and Resiliency Systems for large-scale banking and financial services, insurance, communications, oil and gas, transportation, retail and related sectors.

According to VirtualAgility President and CEO Stuart Rudolph, a growing awareness of the interconnectedness of risk and the vulnerability of populations, institutions and businesses to nearby and distant disasters has generated widespread interest in practical solutions.

“It’s not a question of if, but when,” Rudolph said. “And the private sector is now just as concerned as any government. The disasters in Japan proved just how susceptible global corporations, markets and even economies can be to events unfolding on the other side of the world. Many organizations with crisis plans in place are realizing that they haven’t scratched the surface of preparedness.”

“Our intention is to provide lots of useful information regarding crisis management concerns and solutions. We see a new bias for action on both the public and private sides. People want ideas, expertise, and solutions they can implement. They’re particularly interested in companies that talk about real world experiences, real results. Vulnerabilities are now too real for theories and marketing.”

Preparedness is essential to effective response and VirtualAgility gives disparate groups a flexible platform for generating, disseminating and updating dynamic plans. Just as important, VirtualAgility provides an array of critical capabilities for maximizing the value of people, data, and resources to reduce the consequences of risk.

Attendees will also receive a demonstration of new technologies related to crisis management. VirtualAgility, IBM and Avnet have deep experience in creating effective solutions. With the new Ready-to-Run line, VirtualAgility is making cross-department capabilities available to small public agencies and enterprises cost-effectively. Avnet Embedded Solutions’ pre-configuration services are helping VirtualAgility make their Ready-to-Run solution easy to buy.”

"As the demand for more highly-integrated crisis management products continues to rise, Avnet’s team of experts is poised to provide the hardware, software as well as integration and technical services to meet the needs of this important technology,” said Chuck Kostalnick, senior vice president, Avnet Embedded Americas. Being able to assist VirtualAgility with the has allowed us to play a key role in this critical needs market."

For example, VirtualAgility’s Ready-to-Run Crisis WorkCenter allows users to aggregate, normalize, and visualize enormous amounts of information from multiple sources. Information is combined and presented graphically to speed comprehension, support better decisions and enable fast action. Crisis WorkCenter also integrates sensor data from electronic sources as well as from “human sensors” --the intelligence provided by people on the ground that helps managers maintain situational awareness and a common operational picture.

And of course the Crisis WorkCenter system integrates social media such as Twitter and Facebook into a single view that bridges the broader public-private community that is typically involved in disasters.

“We’ve taken the sole focus off the response phase to address the full cycle of crisis management,” Rudolph said. “The real basis of successful response is preparedness, planning. And the recovery phase is also extraordinarily challenging. An adequate solution must deal with response, of course, but also everything before, and after.”

VirtualAgility and IBM have worked together through IBM’s Smarter Cities initiative and have collaborated in deploying large-scale solutions in the US, Canada, South Africa and Brazil.

Executives interested in attending this event can register through http://www.virtualagility.com, or call your VirtualAgility, Avnet, or IBM representative. Registration is required and seats are limited.

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JANET AHLGREN
VirtualAgility Inc.
1(781) 721-7756
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