New TIES for Microsoft CityNext Service Provides Real-time Operating Picture of Cities, out of the Windows Azure Cloud

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Swan Island Networks introduces new Trusted Information Exchange Service (TIES®) designed for cities—available now through a Rapid Deployment Program

TIES for Microsoft CityNext: Special Events - Denver Leaders Common Operating Picture

TIES for Microsoft CityNext: Special Events - Denver Leaders Common Operating Picture

"We have been using TIES for many years, and are now excited to be using the new TIES forMicrosoft CityNext version, sharing data with our trusted partners.” Carl Simpson, Director of 911 for the City and County of Denver

Swan Island Networks, Inc., on February 12th, announced that municipal and regional governments around the world now have an opportunity to utilize Trusted Information Exchange Services (TIES) to create and share real-time common operating pictures of their cities. TIES’ ability to share information across trusted communities was developed in association with U.S. government information sharing programs starting in 2002, and now supports over 250 commercial enterprise customers and 20 percent of the Fortune 100. TIES’ situational awareness and intelligence sharing capabilities consume, fuse and filter hundreds of data sources, including social media streams, and disseminate this information in easy-to-use dashboards and targeted alerts. TIES’ capabilities are now being offered to help city leaders and their organizations make faster, better, and more informed decisions.

The service,TIES for Microsoft CityNext, helps local and regional governments “tie” together a wide spectrum of existing and new information resources, from a variety of public and private systems, and do “New with Less”— a key component of the global Microsoft CityNext initiative that launched last July. TIES services can be securely accessed by authorized users from a variety of devices to support critical city missions, out of Microsoft’s highly secure Windows Azure cloud. By leveraging trustworthy cloud resources to address public safety, emergency response, critical infrastructure protection, transportation service and other city challenges not often served by cloud systems, TIES for Microsoft CityNext provides cities an opportunity to bring the power, economy and security of the cloud to core functions that can save lives, and protect critical infrastructure.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Swan Island Networks on the TIES for Microsoft CityNext program. Microsoft prioritizes putting people and partners first in our initiatives and CityNext is no different,” said Joel Cherkis, general manager of government for Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector. “Even though cities are feeling the strain from economic challenges, we believe a new era of innovation will create opportunities for people to utilize technology to accomplish what they never thought possible. We’re inspired by our diverse partner ecosystem and know that working together we can help cities realize their full potential.”

The heart of the service is a Common Operating Picture (COP) which shows breaking events of all kinds, displayed via mapping services, on dashboards. This COP displays real-time data from many disparate sources, fused together in various maps and gadgets. The result is a 24/7 living view of the city—complete with the latest information about severe weather, gang activity, road closures, flu epidemics, electricity outages, cyber attacks, social media monitoring and much more—all available in a single high assurance service.

One important source of alerts in TIES for Microsoft CityNext is 911 dispatch data. As Carl Simpson, Director of 911 for the City and County of Denver, put it, “We are always interested in new ways to leverage 911 data, and make it more valuable for our city. We have been using TIES for many years, and are now excited to be using the new TIES for Microsoft CityNext version, sharing data with our trusted partners.”

The service also provides targeted, filtered alert notification, so that news of breaking situations is delivered to cell phones and tablets, in addition to being shown on dashboards, and creates a collaborative environment where many cloud services can be shared, with confidence, among authorized participants.

“TIES for Microsoft CityNext provides cities new and innovative ways to share information across organizations and address an array of increasingly dangerous and sophisticated threats—helping to save lives and protect critical infrastructure” said Charles Jennings, Swan Island Networks CEO. “TIES utilizes proven cloud technology that already supports hundreds of global enterprises to deliver scalable, reliable and highly secure information sharing services for cities, at a fraction of the cost of legacy systems.”

TIES for Microsoft CityNext is currently available in three versions:

  •     Leaders Edition helps Mayors and other city leaders stay up-to-date on all breaking threats and incidents—and what the news and social media is saying about them;
  •     Safe Schools Edition connects educators and first responders in new ways to help manage potential threats and crises as well as enable them to monitor social media feeds by location, usernames, hashtags, or keywords;
  •     Special Events Edition helps cities manage security issues related to major events.

Each TIES edition includes support for multiple languages, including English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Spanish. Custom configurations are also available to address specific needs of cities and regional governments.

All three TIES editions are available as part of a new Rapid Deployment Program, which gets cities up and running on the service within sixty days. TIES for Microsoft CityNext quickly and efficiently delivers comprehensive, reliable, and scalable information exchange services—at a small fraction of the cost of new internal IT systems.

About Swan Island Networks
Founded in 2002 and based in Portland, Oregon, Swan Island Networks is a situational intelligence software and services provider, focused on the emergency response, public safety, public health, school safety and event security market sectors. Its flagship technology, TIES®, is a highly secure Software-as-a-Service for integrating, displaying, filtering and sharing intelligence from literally hundreds of real-time and near-real-time sources. TIES currently supports more than 20 percent of the Fortune 100 and more than 250 enterprises around the world. For more information, please call 503.796.7926 or visit:

About Microsoft CityNext
Microsoft CityNext is a global people-first initiative harnessing all the ideas, energy and expertise of a city's people as they create a healthier, safer, more sustainable place to live. Microsoft CityNext empowers cities to make the most of existing investments and find the right combination of solutions, apps and programs to transform cities’ infrastructure and operations, engage citizens and businesses by delivering personalized services and apps that foster real-time dialogue, and accelerate innovation and opportunity through programs and partnerships that empower and nurture the next generation of skilled workers. Combining a vast network of global partners and history of successful education and social programs, Microsoft CityNext helps cities with what’s next.

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Kara Lundberg
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