March 19, 2007 9:01 PM PDT

IBM, Cisco partner on emergency services offering

IBM and Cisco Systems are expected to announce Tuesday a joint emergency services offering aimed at government and corporate customers.

The IBM Management Services for Crisis Response will combine Cisco's networking hardware and IBM's services approach to offer up a range of hardware, software and satellite capabilities as a single service.

"We'll offer upfront consulting and planning, and do periodic testing to see how the clients respond in emergency situations," said Russ Lindburg, global offering executive with IBM's Business Continuity and Resiliency Services.

The new service is expected to launch in early April.

Although both companies currently have various products and services they offer to get customers up and running following emergencies such as earthquakes, floods and fire, Lindburg noted the new managed service is designed to serve as a one-stop shop.

The features include a portable communications kit with rapid deployment, as well as a server rack mount that can be portable or stationary. The server rack mount is designed to be flexible and deploy voice, data and video interoperability to various areas.

Other key components to the service include an SUV that acts as a network emergency response vehicle, with the capability to offer a medium-scale network, as well as communications and information-based services.

The communications offerings will range from Wi-Fi to WiMax to satellite, Lindburg said.

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IBM, Cisco and other larger companies entering the emergency services market will provide much needed fresh ideas in the now troubled public safety market. The need for bench depth in the companies working very large systems contracts is more evident every day. Innovation is not a process accomplished by breezy spreadsheet-based management of technical resources. It requires that a company have the lattitude to dedicate resources to research, development and prototyping plus the cultural will to bring products to market ahead of the RFPs that control the acquisitions.

IBM and Cisco can do a better job and bring new technologies to bear on the problems of regional systems instead of offering provincial solutions that will not scale to the requirements of NIEMS.
Posted by Len Bullard (454 comments )
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Well said -nt-
nt = no text
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
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