Vodafone partners with Blackberry for crisis communications

Greater Manchester Police and Fire and Rescue Service are the first to benefit from the partnership

BlackBerry has announced that it is partnering with Vodafone to offer its BlackBerry AtHoc platform as a crisis communications solution for UK emergency services.

Blackberry AtHoc, which is a mobile app with an emergency mass notification system, is already used by military, government, and commercial organisations in order to provide their workforce with physical security, force protection, as well as personnel accountability.

Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are the first two clients to benefit from the partnership, which will provide the services with secure communications and real-time alerts, facilitating more efficient responses to emergencies within Greater Manchester.

Christoph Erdmann, senior VP of Secure Communications at BlackBerry, said that the company is “excited to expand this relationship and now offer the comprehensive BlackBerry AtHoc critical event management solution to Vodafone’s business and government customers in the UK”, adding that the two partners have had an ongoing relationship since 1999.

According to Erdmann, Blackberry AtHoc “can be deployed quickly to enable the most secure real-time information exchange across organizations, their people and devices, so that leaders can make informed and safety-critical decisions in times of crisis”.

Vodafone, which is a partner of the BlackBerry Platinum enterprise programme, will provide in-house engineers, consultants, architects and desk-based support staff, who are trained and certified on BlackBerry AtHoc as well as BlackBerry Spark Suites solutions.

Greater Manchester Police inspector Darren Spurgeon said that BlackBerry AtHoc was chosen to allow the police “to share and receive real time information across our business and police operations”.

“BlackBerry AtHoc will help us rapidly respond to internal operational issues and ensure accurate information is shared across multiple police departments and personnel using both analog and digital channels,” he added.

Earlier this month, Vodafone also announced the launch of a new support platform which aims to help small businesses develop their digital capabilities in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent financial crisis.

Named V-Hub, the platform provides SMBs with one-to-one support from a team of advisers who will share tips on how to be more effective and secure online.

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