During August this year, International SOS and Everbridge announced a strategic partnership to deliver critical information to employees, travelers and mobile workforces when events occur that may impact their health, safety, security or wellbeing. Following this announcement, Steve Dance of RiskCentric met with Nick Hawkins, CEO of Everbridge’s EMEA operations to discuss how the partnership delivers new capabilities to incident managers and it’s wider implications for incident management.
The partnership creates an integration between International SOS’ TravelTracker and Everbridge’s critical communication engine. This integration enables organizations to communicate key messages to their people during international incidents and risks, such as terrorist attacks, virus outbreaks and other emergencies. As part of this integration, organizations will be able to deliver messages to domestic and international travelers as well as international assignees, across SMS, voice, email and other modalities.
Many global organisations are looking to improve the security and safety of their employees as trade and outsourcing globalisation require employees to travel more frequently. As a result, employees are often asked to work in or visit locations that have high exposures to threats such as natural hazards, political/social instability and terrorism. Leading organisations, aware of their corporate responsibilities and duty of care to keep staff safe, are looking to respond to a more unpredictable world by improving their capabilities to protect staff and respond to incident situations. The integration of the Everbridge critical communications engine with the International SOS travel security service, ensures that organisations know where their employees are, what the risks in that location may be, and have the capabilities to communicate to and support with speed if an incident does occur. This increased speed of response is undoubtedly a critical component of effective incident management, particularly when the incident occurs across geographic borders.
However, the partnership between these two services may have wider implications in the way that organisations prepare for and manage incidents. In any organisation, silos can create operational inefficiencies: and that can apply to incident management, too. In many organisations travel security and operational incident management are managed by different functions which can result in disastrous inefficiencies when both may be required to act in concert. The capability to integrate the two functions allows us to take a step back and re-visualise how incidents which involve staff “travelers” can be managed. The integration of these services brings about key changes:
· Technology integration gives employees a single channel and point of contact with people who can help
· Help can be provided to affected staff through a single interface on a common device. No application switching is required of the end user and corporate incident management specialists are working from a single integrated view of the incident
· The concept of an integrated travel security and crisis communications capability provides organisations with the opportunity to create centres of excellence for incident management: expertise from both disciplines can be drawn together to work in concert when an incident occurs.
This partnership may be more than a cooperation between two “players” in the crisis management industry – it could provide us with a new paradigm for organising and preparing for international incident response.